Monday, December 6, 2010

Latino hockey pioneer retires

Generally Latinos are associated with sports like baseball and soccer. Yet a few hockey players are of Latino background and perhaps one of the most famous Latino players to lace the skates decided to call it quits.

Earlier today Bill Guerin announced that he would retire after an extraordinary eighteen-season career. Guerin, who is of Nicaraguan descent, played for eight different teams and played in four National Hockey League (NHL) All-Star Games. He also was part of the 1996 U.S. team that would upset Canada in the World Cup and the 2002 silver-medal winning team. He was the first player to score at least a twenty goals per season with seven different teams.

Guerin won the Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils in 1995 and with the Pittsburgh Penguins last year. Though Guerin may be best remembered as a member of the successful mid-1990s Devils sides, his brief time with Pittsburgh cannot be understated. Acquired at the 2009 trade deadline, Guerin scored twenty-six goals including a pair of game-winners in the playoffs and his invaluable leadership helped the Penguins win the title.

It’s unknown what Guerin’s immediate future will hold; for now, he expressed his immense gratitude towards his family in his retirement speech:
“There's not much I can actually say because I couldn't put into words what you mean to me, what you've sacrificed and how much you guys have done for me. I love you incredibly. I'm looking forward to spending more time with you, and doing all the things I've dreamt about for a long time. I'm looking forward to the second half of my life and you guys being the focal point. I love you guys. Thank you.”
Other Latino players currently playing in the NHL are Scott Gomez (Colombian and Mexican background) and Raffi Torres (Mexican and Peruvian descent). In addition, defenseman Francis Bouillon’s father was originally from Haiti.

Image- Jamie Sabau/Getty Images via CBC (“Bill Guerin will be honored by the Pittsburgh Penguins in an on-ice ceremony before Monday night's game.”)
Online Sources- Official websites of the Pittsburgh Penguins and New Jersey Devils, Wikipedia, Sporting News, USA TODAY


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I am a huge basketball and soccer fan and as for NHL, I am not really familiar of the league. There a bit of information I know about NHL like Gretzky, the Stanley Cup and the Mighty Ducks. But it is just awesome to know that a Latino is a huge star in this hockey center stage. And good to know as well that there quite a few of them playing there. Next, I am hoping to see Asians in there.

Banks said...

Unfortunately it has little impact on the homogeneous makeup of the NHL. Some day.