Czerkawski hangs 'em up
One of the greatest players in the history of Polish ice hockey, Mariusz Czerkawski, has decided to retire.Lowetide already had a nice post today on the fellow known as the Polish Gretzky.
The 36-year-old Czerkawski played in the NHL for over a dozen years. He started in the Boston Bruins in 1994 and played also for the Edmonton Oilers, the New York Islanders, the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Only six Polish-born players have ever suited up in the NHL, and Czerkawski's 435 career points are by far that country's best totals. Next in line are former Penguins winger Nick Harbaruk (120), current Avalanche winger Wojtek Wolski (104), journeyman defenceman John Miszuk (46) and long-time enforcer Krzysztof Oliwa (45).
Former Whalers goaltender Peter Sidorkiewicz is the only other Pole with NHL experience.
Wolski grew up outside of Toronto, so I'm not sure he counts. Only five Polish-born players have been drafted since 1991, which is when Czerkawski was taken in the fifth round by the Bruins.
UPDATE Too tied up to post much today, but I'll be on The Team 1260 at 5:50 p.m. on Friday.