New Jersey Devils’ legend Travis Zajac calls it a career
Travis Zajac who spent almost his entire 15-year NHL career with the Devils, announced his retirement. He signed a one day contract with the team so that he could retire a Devil.
Zajac’s career isn’t quit over yet, though. The team announced that he will remain with the team in an on/off ice player development and consulting role while also working to grow the club’s youth program. In a statement, he said:
"I was drafted in 2004 and played my first game in 2006. As I stand here nearing the end of 2021, I can only be grateful to sign one last time, and retire as a New Jersey Devil.”
He appeared in 1,037 career regular-season games scoring 203 goals and 349 assists for 552 points while registering 344 penalty minutes.
Zajac's name is posted across New Jersey's franchise all-time leaderboards. His games -played total (1,024) ranks fourth, goal total (202) ranks tied for third, assist total (348) is fifth and points (550) rank third. Zajac appeared in his 1,000th career NHL game on February 21, 2021, at Washington, at the time becoming just the fourth player in franchise history to achieve that mark.
In his farewell statement, he acknowledged the deep roots that he and his family had established in the Garden State:
My wife went to graduate school at Montclair State, our three children, were born in Jersey and raised right here in this rink at Prudential Center. They know no other home and no other community like the Devils. It's now time for me to embed myself into this same community where I grew into adulthood. It is where my heart is, my home, and I've never felt otherwise.
"Born in Winnipeg, Made in Jersey."
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.