Craig Adams has officially retired after 14 seasons, two Stanley Cups and more than 950 games in the NHL.
Adams, 38, announced his retirement Tuesday through the NHLPA. Previously an unrestricted free agent, Adams had played in 70 games in 2014-15 for the Pittsburgh Penguins and contributed one goal and seven points, but averaged less than 10 minutes of ice time per outing. Adams completed the second season of a two-year, $1.4-million deal.
In a statement, Adams said he was thankful that he was able to achieve his dream of playing in the NHL, adding it was an honor that he “never took for granted.”
“I want to thank my wonderful family—my wife, Anne, and our three kids,” Adams said. “You have helped me to live my dream and have been there through all the ups and downs. I am so thankful for everything you have given me and that we have been able to share this journey together. I could not have done it without you.”
Adams was one of the final players ever drafted by the Hartford Whalers, and he was the final Whalers draft pick to ever play in the NHL. Adams was taken in the ninth round, 223rd overall, in the 1996 draft. The only player the Whalers ever selected after Adams was Askhat Rakhmatulin, who never played a single game in the NHL. Adams didn’t play a single game for the Whalers as his rights were transferred to the Hurricanes before his professional career began.
With Adams retiring, Chris Pronger, who is active only in status but will never play again, is the final player with Whalers connections in the NHL. Jean-Sebastien Giguere’s retirement in August 2014 made him the final player who suited up for the Whalers to play an NHL game.
Adams came one season short of reaching the 1,000 game milestone — he played 951 — but across regular and post-seasons, he did suit up in over 1,000 NHL contests. He scored 55 goals and 160 points in regular season action, and added another seven goals and 12 points in 106 playoff games while playing for the Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins.
Adams won two Stanley Cups in his career. The first came in 2005-06 with the Hurricanes, but Adams’ best post-season came during the 2008-09 Stanley Cup run with the Penguins. Adams notched three goals and five points in 25 games while averaging less than 10 minutes a game. He made his ice time count.
Before coming to the NHL, Adams spent four seasons playing in the NCAA for Harvard. According to the NHLPA, Adams has already found his next venture as he’s become a financial advisor working with Merrill Lynch’s Pennbrook Group.