I collect or have collected numerous players from a variety of sports over the years... but only two have binders dedicated to solely them: Tony Gwynn & Owen Nolan.
Before Owen Nolan arrived in San Jose, I was a San Jose Sharks fan without a favorite player. But it was nearly impossible for Sharks fans not to embrace #11. The guy could do everything: score goals, set up plays, be a clubhouse leader, and of course make some tremendous hits on opposing skaters.
A quick look into my Nolan binder will reveal that I was a super collector in the making. With the exception of a few ultra rare cards, I had amassed over 90% of his cards from 1989/90 to 1998/99. I stopped collecting him after a not so "memorable" encounter with Mr. Nolan took place at the 2000 San Jose Sharks Fest. But that's another story for another day.
Today, I want to focus on the good memories... which far outweigh the bad. Earlier this afternoon... in front of his family, friends, and former teammates, a choked up Owen Nolan officially announced his retirement during a press conference at HP Pavilion.
During his 18 year career, he produced the following numbers:
442 Career Goals
463 Career Assists
885 Career Points
1,793 Career Penalty Minutes
5 NHL All-Star Appearances
10 Career Twenty Goal Seasons
6 Career Thirty Goal Seasons
2 Career Forty Goal Seasons
Here's the career highlight video of Nolan produced by the San Jose Sharks:
My favorite Owen Nolan highlight came in front of a hometown crowd during the 1997 NHL All-Star game when he performed the famous "Called Shot" against Dominic Hasek during the third period to wrap up his hat trick:
In addition to that shot, he also set an NHL All-Star game record by scoring two goals in 8 seconds. He continued to set records for the Sharks during his eight years in San Jose. When the Sharks traded him to the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 2002-03 season, he left as the Sharks all-time leader in goals, assists, and points.
Congratulations Mr. Nolan on an amazing 18 year career. Thank you for the memories. I hope you enjoy your retirement.
Happy Tuesday everyone... and sayonara!