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Joseph hangs up his skates with no regrets

Tuesday, 01.12.2010 / 2:26 PM / News
By Rocky Bonanno  - NHL.com Staff Writer
Curtis Joseph, the fourth-winningest goaltender in NHL history, officially announced his retirement on Tuesday at a press conference at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

"It's a good day and it's been a great career," Joseph began. "I'm a lucky, lucky guy to do what I do for a living for 19 years. I'm extremely happy and certainly believe I didn't leave anything on the table.

"I had a great run and a great career and enjoyed every minute of it."

Joseph, 42, hasn't played this season, bringing his career to a close after breaking into the NHL with the St. Louis Blues in 1989-90. The Keswick, Ontario, native appeared in 21 games with the Maple Leafs last season and played his final game on April 9, 2009, a 3-1 loss against Buffalo at Toronto.

Joseph retires with 454 wins, trailing only Martin Brodeur, Patrick Roy and Ed Belfour, and with 352 losses, tied with Gump Worsley for the most in League history.

"It's been a great ride and today I'm happy to announce that it's over, but certainly with no regrets," he said.

In 943 games with the Blues, Edmonton Oilers, Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, Phoenix Coyotes and Calgary Flames, Joseph was 454-352-90-6 with 51 shutouts. Only Brodeur, Roy, Terry Sawchuk and Belfour made more regular-season appearances.

Joseph also appeared in 133 postseason games, going 63-66 with 16 shutouts and a 2.42 goals-against average. He backstopped Toronto to the Eastern Conference Finals in 1999 against Buffalo and Carolina in 2002, and on April 13, 2008 he became the first goaltender in NHL history to win a playoff game with five different teams after leading Calgary past San Jose in Game 3 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals.

"It's all worth it, every ounce of it. All the memories, the victories, the ups and downs. It's all worth it." -- Curtis Joseph

"It's all worth it, every ounce of it," Joseph said, looking at peace with his decision. "All the memories, the victories, the ups and downs. It's all worth it."

Joseph was a three-time nominee for the Vezina Trophy, finishing second in the voting to Buffalo's Dominik Hasek in 1998-99. After the 1999-2000 season he was awarded the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, going "to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community."

He played in two NHL All-Star Games, representing the Blues in 1994 and the Maple Leafs in 2000. Joseph was also a member of Team Canada at the 1998 and 2002 Winter Olympics, winning a gold medal in the latter.

Joseph leaves the League as the goaltender with the most wins to have never won a Stanley Cup. When asked to name his career highlights, he spoke fondly of his four seasons with the Maple Leafs from 1998-99 through 2001-02, and his brief return last season.

He posted 138 wins with the Leafs, fourth most in franchise history behind Turk Broda, Johnny Bower and Felix Potvin, and added 17 shutouts. In 1999-2000, Joseph set a Toronto record with 36 victories, since broken by Belfour (2002-03) and Andrew Raycroft (2006-07).

"Going to Toronto, that was the pinnacle of my career. Being in my hometown … It was like playing for friends," he said. "When I first signed with Leafs, there was a history of boys from the area that were not successful wearing the Maple Leafs uniform. That was in the back of my mind, that it was harder to be successful. Fortunately, things worked out tremendously. From that first game on my time here was tremendous with the Leafs. Couldn't be better."

Joseph's two teenage boys were in the audience for the announcement. He said that before arriving, his son Tristan asked if they can bring their equipment to the Air Canada Centre for a skate on the ice. "Those days are over, I'm retiring today," he said.

Contact Rocky Bonanno at rbonanno@nhl.com

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