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Rod Brind'amour Retires

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Raleigh, NC - Rod Brind'Amour is calling it a career, as the 21-year NHL veteran announced his retirement on Wednesday.

Brind'Amour, who turns 40 in August, has one year left on the five-year contract he signed in 2006 after captaining Carolina to the franchise's first Stanley Cup title.

He had nine goals and 10 assists in 80 games last season.

The two-time Selke Trophy winner played 1,484 NHL games with the Hurricanes, Flyers and St. Louis Blues, scoring 452 goals and 1,184 points

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I have some different feelings about this than most of you have - because I had the chance to get to know him through my journalism classes at Michigan State. I was very close to the hockey team there, and got to interview several players during my years there.

Rod is actually one of my fondest memories. I remember when he first arrived on the MSU campus. I saw him play in the Green & White exhibition game (one MSU squald was dressed in the green and the other in the white), and the one thing I'll never forget was the way he was threading passes to teammates who had no idea they were coming. He made it look so easy, too. He was only there for one year, but he was the standout of that team by a mile.

I got to interview him for one of my broadcast journalism classes, and I still have the tape. The sound wasn't the greatest - a buzz throughout due to equipment issues, but the interview was quite revealing. I thought he was a great person to be around, and I knew he would be a star the moment he got into the NHL, which he did right out of college.

I really enjoyed watching him become the player he became, even though he never was a Hab.

Two others I interviewed were Jason Muzzatti - who was up with the Calgary Flames for a cup of coffee as a backup to Mike Vernon. He was a very nice guy, too. and was in one of my classes. I actually got his interview broadcast on local TV. He was playing despite having surgery to repair one of his heart's valves. I also interviewed Neil Wilkinson, and his story got published in his hometown paper of Selkirk, Manitoba. He also stayed at MSU for only one year, but got into the NHL right away, with the Minnesota North Stars. He later played for Pittsburgh during the Mario Lemieux years, and I believe got his name on the cup during that time. Unfortunately, he will be remembered by most fans as being the one who, as a member of the Chicago Black Hawks, got drilled by Tony Granato . Apparently, he got drilled by some others, too.



I give Neil credit - he did not back down from anyone.

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