Jere Lehtinen Retires
Earlier this week, Dallas Stars forward announced his retirement from the NHL.
Drafted in the 4th round of the 1992 NHL Entry Draft by the Minnesota North Stars, Lehtinen achieved success playing on TPS-Turku, playing on a top line with Saku Koivu and Ville Peltonen. Before completing his first NHL season in 1995-96, he’d already played for the Finnish National team, earning silver medals at the 1992 and 1994 World Championships, a bronze at the 1994 Olympics, and a gold at the 1995 World Championships. He would earn further medals playing internationally, including the 1998 Olympic bronze, 2006 Olympic silver, 2007 WC silver and finally 2010 Olympic bronze.
Lehtinen would play his entire 875 game career with the Dallas Stars, winning the 1999 Stanley Cup (assisting on Brett Hull’s Cup-winner). His top offensive year came in 2005-06, scoring 33 goals and 52 points in 80 games. However it was as a defensive forward that Lehtinen was best known.
Jere Lehtinen was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the league’s best defensive forward a total of 3 times. He is only the third player to have achieved this. No surprise that Lehtinen learned much from Bob Gainey, his former coach and GM (and the only 4 time winner of the Selke), and former teammate Guy Carbonneau (the only other 3 time winner of the Selke).
Lehtinen finishes in the top-10 in Dallas history in games played, goals, assist and points, and first all-time in plus/minus with an amazing +176 (currently good for 67th in NHL history). No word yet as to Jere’s future plans, but no doubt many NHL teams will be wondering how to get this former Star on their coaching staff.