Pierre Turgeon, the NHL's 27th all-time leading scorer who played his final two seasons with the Avalanche, has decided to retire.
Sources close to the 37-year-old Turgeon said he will make an official announcement soon. He will live with his family in the Denver area, where he helps coach his daughter's hockey team.
Turgeon, given the derisive nickname "Tin Man", because he apparently lacked heart, has generally been looked down upon for being 'soft' or some other nonsense. Despite what people say 1,327 points in 1,294 career regular season games is the mark of a special player.
Despite Turgeon's point totals, there are many who doubt that he belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Apart from an explosive 1992-93 season, in which Pierre had 132 points in 58 games, Turgeon was generally not one of the NHLs top players in any season in which he played. Yes, Turgeon was good, but Hall of Famers tend to be 'great' players. It's not an easy call, by any stretch.
Many have called Turgeon a softy, but 97 points in 109 career playoff games shows that he could produce when the chips were down. During his days with the Blues, he led the Blues in playoff scoring in two of five post-seasons he was with them.
I don't believe Turgeon's lack of entry into the Stanley Cup Finals should be held against him. Hockey is a team game, and it takes more than one player to make a cup winning team. Anyone remember how Hall of Famer Marcel Dionne never got a sniff of the cup?
The biggest mistake, I'll maintain, that Turgeon ever made was signing with the Dallas Stars in 2001. Playing on a defensive-oriented team that already was strong down the middle, Turgeon was never given a starring role, and never allowed to play to his ability. On another team, Turgeon would have put up better numbers, and probably cemented his HoF case a lot more than he has.
There are certainly lesser players in the Hall of Fame (Clark Gillies and Bernie Federko, anyone?), and Turgeon wouldn't be out of place there. Just put him in the same wing as Mike Gartner, another very productive player who was never all that great.