Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Who's Left From NHL '94

(There's an update on December 29th, 2009-- FYI)

With Joe Sakic, Claude Lemieux, and evidently Mats Sundin all calling it a career this week (or will eventually....we're looking at you Mats), you can almost tell that the era of NHL '94 could be in its twillight. It's almost like the "Tecmo Bowl" in football, NHL '94 seems to be the gauge on how old we all are and why we won against the computer with the offsides turned off.

So, with those three big timers leaving-- who is left amongst those where were in NHL '94. And yes, I'm well aware that didn't make sense-- there were nouns and verbs, but all jumbled together. Deal with it.

Let's do this roster by roster, and if I miss anyone.....tell me (Thanks to with the Roster Info):

ANAHEIM: Sean Hill-- While Hill is buried over in Switzerland, he is still somewhat active and will be added to this list. Although his 44 rating was hurtful, he was great for an expansion team.

BOSTON: All Retired

BUFFALO: Brad May, Dominik Hasek-- May is a free agent and could be off this list soon, but odds are someone will take a chance. Way down the list due to skill, May was a scrapper and you only put him in if you had to make a line-change. Hasek was the second stringer behind Fuhr and with his unretirement to play in Czech Republic-- he's back on the list.

CALGARY: Robert Reichel-- Good catch by a reader (Comment #14), as Reichel is still over in the Czech Republic. He was never a flashy guy, but a solid contributor and a leader on the ice as well. Going back home has given him a shot in the arm and some certainty when it comes his role in the line-up.

CHICAGO: Jeremy Roenick, Chris Chelios-- Both of these guys could be gone in a second, but both were studs in NHL '94. Roenick was the top forward, Chelios the top defender on the Hawks and knew how to rip it up. It's not so much me as it is Roenick-- he's good.

DALLAS: Mike Modano-- Modano is back for another season and continues to be somewhat consistent, much like he was in the game itself. Along with Russ Courtnall and Dave Gagner, the Stars appeal was only up-front as the rest of the team was abysmal.

DETROIT: Sergei Fedorov, Nicklas Lidstrom, Slava Kozlov-- While Kozlov was still getting a taste for the NHL, Fedorov was a stud and Lidstrom was starting to get noticed. Though Feds is back in Russia, Lidstrom and Kozlov motor on in the NHL.

EDMONTON: Doug Weight-- Weight is still around on Long Island, but who knows how much time he will have left. A top guy for the Oilers, he could be the only guy who was a starter, but was not in the top three ratings for forwards.

FLORIDA: All Retired

HARTFORD: Michael Nylander-- Though many still hate him in DC, Nylander is the last Whale player from this game and it's almost sad to think really.

LOS ANGELES: Rob Blake, Alexei Zhitnik, Darryl Sydor-- All defenseman, but only Blake and Sydor remain in the NHL-- Zhitnik is in Russia.. For a team with great up-front presence, the back line wasn't too shabby either.

MONTREAL: Mike Keane, Mathieu Schneider, Sean Hill-- This was the thing with NHL '94, you had expansion teams, but they kept the player on their team from the year before-- like Hill. Keane is still toiling in the minors, while Schneider remains in limbo, as he is a UFA.

NEW JERSEY: Bill Guerin, Scott Niedermayer-- Both of these guys were deep in the depth chart because they were on the younger side, but now they have both flourished throughout. Niedermayer was being Bruce Driver, for pete's sake.

NY ISLANDERS: Darius Kasparaitis-- He's still around, folks-- albeit it in Russia, but it counts. A top d-man on a subpar team, his hitting was used to keep people away from Glenn Healy and his 47 rating.

NY RANGERS: Alexei Kovalev, Sergei Zubov-- Kovalev just signed a new deal in Ottawa, while Zubov has been sturdy at times, but fragile in others. Both young bucks in '94, somehow stuck around.

OTTAWA: All Retired

PHILADELPHIA: Mark Recchi, Rod Brind'Amour-- Recchi has one year left in him and will soon be off this list, while Rod "the Bod" could outlast everyone else because of his insane conditioning. It would be the great honor to be the last '94ers around.

PITTSBURGH: Jaromir Jagr-- Though he's in Russia, he has thought about coming back. It would be interesting to see if he still had it if he did-- but don't get your hopes up; looking at you, Edmonton.

QUEBEC: Adam Foote, Owen Nolan, Chris Simon-- Simon is toiling in Russia, but both Foote and Nolan are veteran leaders in Colorado and Minnesota, respectively. Foote made a tour stop in Columbus before coming back to Colorado.

SAN JOSE: Sandis Ozolinsh-- Ozo is in Russia, like many others, to play out the end of their careers.

ST. LOUIS: Brendan Shanahan, Bret Hedican, Curtis Joseph-- All three are UFAs, all three could be gone in a split, especially Shanahan and Joseph. Hedican may have some left in the tank, but who knows how this could come out come next season.

TAMPA BAY: Roman Hamrlik-- Hammer is still getting it done on the Canadiens now, but could be playing out the last few years on this list. Though he's done better in the past few years, you wonder how much this luck can last.

TORONTO: All Retired

VANCOUVER: Petr Nedved, Jiri Slegr-- Both of these guys are back in the Czech Republic, but both had their moments for the NHL. Built for speed, these guys could wheel in the 16-bit world.


WINNIPEG: Teemu Selanne, Keith Tkachuk, Teppo Numminen-- All three guys are still kicking it and kicking it pretty well. Though Selanne has been indecisive, Numminen has had health issues, and Tkachuk has been at the buffet-- they round out a great trio of players around in the NHL.

While there's still a decent amount of players out there-- they could all be gone within two years....tops. It's something where it's a loss of innocence for hockey fans of a young age who grew up to love this cult-classic game. So, now I'm taking bets on who will be the last player to play who was rostered on NHL '94.



Navin Vaswani (@eyebleaf) said...

Great post.

I loved using Roenick in NHL 94. He was straight ridiculous.

Wanye Gretz said...

Fantastic Article. I can remember using Ray to absolutely end the life of many an elementary school friend's players.

The player would hit the ice - then the delay - then that little leg would snap.

And a smile would creep upon my face.

Anonymous said...

you forgot Jere Lehtinen.

ScottyWazz said...

Lehtinen didn't come into the NHL until the '95-'96 season.

Scotty Hockey said...

More often then not I played against less hockey-obsessed friends then I so I let them pick my team, which meant a lot of games played as Ottawa. Let me tell you though, Jeff Lazaro was unstoppable. Slow as hell but scored thousands of goals for me ...

Anonymous said...

Believe it or not, this was the catalyst that got me into hockey in the first place ( I'm from Chicago and the home games weren't televised ). Long Live NHL 94.

Drew Collins said...

Brind'Amour is under contract to play until the 10-11 season; I remember reading something recently where he said he expects to play at least that much longer. He's a monster.

Vicendum said...

My guess for the last players to retire would be the players in the European leagues (guys like Petr Nedved, Darius Kasparitis and Sandis Ozolinsh), since they're playing at what is essentially a lower level of competition and can thus still play at a high level longer than you could presumably play in the NHL. It's still difficult though- the rookies in 1994 could conceivably play until 2014 (twenty years later), so we still have some time before we'll actually know.

Unknown said...

Couple of comments: Martin Brodeur was the rookie goaltender to the Devils (I just finished watching Matteau slip the puck between Brodeur's pad and stick in game 7 of the Eastern Coinference Finals on MSG). Glenn Healy was the backup for Mike Richter on the Rangers not the Islanders.


ScottyWazz said...

Bob, this is purely going off the rosters that were set at the BEGINNING of the '93-'94 season. Since the game itself came out in the fall of '93, it reflects the rosters as they were at the end of the '92-'93 season.

It does not take into account the rookies of '93-'94 nor does it take into account any trades during the season.

So, I was going off the rosters as they were set when you bought the game out of the package and how you looks at the guide book when you browse through how to play.

Anonymous said...

I play NHL 94 all the time - like it is a religion - even still today in 2009!! People come over & its the one everyone could play with fair odds! Awesome players in '94! I have the Sega & Super Nintendo version!! Thanks for the article!

Unknown said...

Great post. NHL 94 was awesome.

The Pylons said...

Wow, this is eerie. Me and my buddy were just having this conversation while playing some NHL '94 on the Genesis and catching up on old times on the weekend. I guess we weren't the only ones.

Great post and great list, but I wouldn't count those still playing semi-retired in Europe or the AHL. I'm interested in whose going to be the last man standing as an active player in the NHL.

NHL '94 is still the best hockey video game ever made. I even have the theme music .mp3 on my nano.

Check out these sites:

Anonymous said...

Robert Reichel. He still plays in Czech, for Litvinov CHP HC. And he was on the roster for the Flames in 94'.

hali said...

I've had a thread on running for a couple of years on this topic....there's several others still playing professional hockey who are lesser knowns...mike craig, jim waite, janne ojanen etc.

hali said...

here's a list...updated as much as i could..although dont have much info on matvichuk...I think he's done though.

NHL List

Rob Blake - San Jose
Rod Brind'Amour - Carolina
Patrice Brisebois - Unsigned
Chris Chelios - Unsigned
Adam Foote - Colorado
Bill Guerin - Pittsburgh
Roman Hamrlik - Montreal
Bret Hedican - Unsigned
Curtis Joseph - Unsigned
Alexei Kovalev - Ottawa
Slava Kozlov - Atlanta
Nicklas Lidstom - Detroit
Richard Matvichuk - Unsigned
Brad May - Unsigned
Mike Modano - Dallas
Scott Neidermayer - Anaheim
Owen Nolan - Minnesota
Michael Nylander - Washington
Mark Recchi - Boston
Mathieu Schneider - Unsigned
Teemu Selanne - Anaheim
Brendan Shanahan - New Jersey
Mike Sillinger - Unsigned
Mats Sundin - Unsigned
Darryl Sydor - Dallas
Keith Tkachuk - St.Louis
Doug Weight - NY Islanders


Josef Beranek - Slavia Praha HC Czech
Mike Craig - Klagenfurt AC - Austrian Hockey League
Sergei Federov - Metallurg Magnitogorsk - Russia
Dominik Hasek - HC Pardubice - Czech
Sean Hill - EHC Biel/Bienne (Swiss)
Jaromir Jagr - Avangard Omsk - KHL
Darius Kasparaitis - SKA St. Petersburg - KHL
Mike Keane – Manitoba AHL
Igor Korolev - Mytishchi Atlant KHL
Petr Nedved - Liberec Bili Tygri HC - czech
Janne Ojanen - Tappara Tampere FNL
Sandis Ozolinsh - Dinamo Riga KHL
Robert Petrovicky - Vitkovice HC - czech
Robert Reichel - Litvinov CHP HC – Czech
Martin Rucinsky - Sparta Prague - czech
Chris Simon - Vityaz Chekhov
Jiri Slegr - Litvinov CHP HC Czech
Martin Straka - Plzen HC - czech
Igor Ulanov - HC Dinamo Minsk Russia
Jim Waite - Ingolstadt ERC DEL
Zarley Zalapski Lausanne -Swiss
Alexei Zhitnik - Dynamo Moscow(Russia)
Sergei Zubov - SKA St. Petersburg

Eliminatrixxx said...

Roenick is now retired, makes me sad, actually.

Don K. Show said...

I may be jumping the gun, but you might want to re-add Theoren Fleury.

J.S. said...

also, Eric Weinrich was still in the AHL last season I think.