Owen Nolan remains one of my all-time favorite players. I still contend that while he was appreciated in San Jose and is a fan favorite, he would have been a demi-God if he had been healthy during his tenure as a Toronto Maple Leaf.
Kevin Kurtz has been doing some of the finest reporting since the lockout began on the happenings at Sharks Ice, where a group of regulars has been staying warm in anticipation of the lockout’s end. One of Kurtz’ most recent pieces was an interview with the former Sharks captain, who had an intensely pragmatic view of the state of affairs. An interesting angle: is Nolan practicing with the current Sharks players to curry favor with Sharks management for when the lockout ends? A potental tryout?
Much to my chagrin, no. He has retired. Not only did he retire, he made it official by announcing it at HP Pavilion earlier this year. I know this because I (like you) watched the press conference (tip of the cap to Sharks play-by-play man Dan Rusanowsky for being a top notch MC of the event). So get that thought out of your head.
Aside from a preseason stint with Vancouver, Nolan last played pro hockey in Zurich (26 pts in 24 games) for the same team that Kings Captain Dustin Brown is currently lacing ‘em up for. If he still wanted to play in the NHL, my best guess is that he’d go there to show he can play, getting in a few games against Jumbo Joe in the process. My gut tells me that he will stay retired…but I’d still give my eye teeth to see Buster play one more time.