NHL Stars of 2004: Where Are They Now?

 

Having reached the dog days of the current NHL offseason, here’s a look back at the league’s top stars 10 years ago and where they are now.

Let’s start with that year’s points leaders:

2004 was a memorable season for Martin St. Louis and the Tampa Bay Lightning.

2004 was a memorable season for Martin St. Louis and the Tampa Bay Lightning.

 Martin St. Louis: Winner of the Art Ross and Hart Trophies as the NHL’s leading scorer (94 points) and most valuable player in 2003-04, St. Louis also helped the Lightning win their first Stanley Cup. He played with the Lightning until dealt at the March 2014 trade deadline to the New York Rangers.

Ilya Kovalchuk: The NHL’s second-leading scorer (87 points) in 2003-04, as well as co-winner of the Richard Trophy as the leading goalscorer (41 goals). Kovalchuk stunned the hockey world last summer by breaking his contract with the New Jersey Devils by retiring from the NHL to play for SKA St. Petersburg in the KHL.

Joe Sakic: Tied with Kovalchuk for points in 2003-04. Sakic retired in 2009 and is now the executive vice-president of hockey operations for the Colorado Avalanche. The Avalanche retired his #19 in 2009 and he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012.

Markus Naslund: The league’s fourth-highest scorer in 2003-04 with 84 points. He retired in 2009 and the Vancouver Canucks retired his #19 jersey in 2010. Earlier this year Naslund re-signed as general manager of Swedish club MoDo.

Marian Hossa: Finished fifth in NHL scoring (82 points) with the Ottawa Senators. Hossa is now a top-six forward with the Chicago Blackhawks, helping them win two Stanley Cup titles.

Patrik Elias: His 81 points were good for sixth overall in league scoring with the New Jersey Devils. He’s spent his entire NHL career with the Devils and is preparing for his 19th season with the club.

Daniel Alfredsson: Finished seventh with 80 points. The long-time Ottawa Senators captain signed last summer with the Detroit Red Wings as a free agent. He’s currently considering a return to the Wings this season or retirement.

Cory Stillman: His career-best 80 points tied with Alfredsson in the points race. Stillman helped the Lightning win the Stanley Cup in 2004 and was also part of the Carolina Hurricanes championship run in 2006. Stillman retired in 2011 and is now part of the Hurricanes player development staff.

Robert Lang: Netted 79 points split between the Washington Capitals and Detroit Red Wings. He retired in 2010 and resides in San Diego, California.

Brad Richards: Tied with Lang in points, Richards went on to win the Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP as the Lightning win the Stanley Cup in 2004. After being bought out by the New York Rangers this June, Richards signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Next, some of the goals and assists leaders:

Jarome Iginla: Tied with Kovalchuk for most goals in 2003-14 (41) and co-winner of the Richard Trophy. Iginla helped the Calgary Flames reach the 2004 Stanley Cup Final. He signed a three-year contract this summer with the Colorado Avalanche.

Rick Nash: Tied with Kovalchuk and Iginla for most goals and also a co-winner of the Richard Trophy that year. It proved to be a career-high for Nash. He now plays for the New York Rangers and was their leading goalscorer the past two seasons.

Milan Hejduk: Tied for seventh in goals (35) with Markus Naslund. Hejduk retired last year having played his entire 14-year NHL career with the Colorado Avalanche. He holds the team record for most games (1,020).

Bill Guerin: Finished ninth overall in goals (34) as a member of the Dallas Stars. After 18 NHL seasons Guerin retired in 2010, and is currently an assistant general manager with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Keith Tkachuk was among the NHL's top power forwards in 2004.

Keith Tkachuk was among the NHL’s top power forwards in 2004.

 Keith Tkachuk: Tied for 10th with Joe Sakic (33 goals). Tkachuk retired after 19 NHL seasons at the end of the 2009-10 season. He’s an assistant coach with the St. Louis Blues Peewee Triple A team.

Scott Gomez: Tied with Martin St. Louis for most assists with 56, which was also a career best. Gomez played 46 games with the Florida Panthers last season and is currently an unrestricted free agent.

Alex Tanguay: Tied for fourth with then-teammate Joe Sakic with 54 assists. Tanguay returned to the Avalanche last summer in a four-player trade but was limited to only 16 games last season by hip and knee injuries.

Doug Weight: Finished seventh in assists with 51. Weight retired as an NHL player in 2011 after 19 seasons and is currently an assistant coach and assistant general manager with the New York Islanders.

Joe Thornton: Finished eight overall in assists with 50. It was also his final full season with the Boston Bruins, as he was dealt during the 2005-06 season to the San Jose Sharks. He’s currently captain of the Sharks.

Mark Recchi: Playing for the Philadelphia Flyers at the time, Recchi tied with four other players with 49 assists. He retired after 22 NHL seasons after helping the Boston Bruins win the Stanley Cup in 2011. Recchi is now a player development coach for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Steve Sullivan: Splitting the season between Chicago and Nashville, Sullivan tied with Recchi, Markus Naslund and Robert Lang with 49 assists. His last NHL season was 2012-13, though he’s yet to officially retire.

Next, the notable goaltenders:

Martin Brodeur: Winner of the 2004 Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goalie. Led the league in games-play (75), wins (38) and shutouts (11). After spending his entire 21-year NHL career with the New Jersey Devils, Brodeur is currently an unrestricted free agent.

Roberto Luongo: Despite a losing record (25-33-14) with the sad-sack Florida Panthers, Luongo’s 2.43 goals-against average and .931 save percentage got him named to the 2004 Second All-Star Team. After spending several productive seasons with the Vancouver Canucks, Luongo was dealt at this year’s trade deadline back to the Panthers.

Marty Turco: As the Dallas Stars starting goalie, Turco finished first in goals-against average among NHL starters (1.98), second in wins (37) and third in shutouts (9). Turco retired in 2012 after 11 NHL seasons and was hired by Fox Sports Southwest as a broadcast analyst for Dallas Stars games.

Ed Belfour: The Toronto Maple Leafs starter in 2003-04, Belfour finished second in shutouts (10), tied for third in wins (34) and ranked among the league leaders in goals-against average (2.13) and save percentage (.918). His final NHL season was with Florida in 2006-07. His performance over 17 NHL seasons led to his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011. He’s been spending his retirement enjoying the outdoors and coaching his sons.

Andrew Raycroft was NHL rookie of the year in 2004.

Andrew Raycroft was NHL rookie of the year in 2004.

 Andrew Raycroft: Won the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year, with 29 victories and a .921 save percentage as the Boston Bruins’ starting goalie. His final NHL season was 2011-12. Raycroft played last season in Sweden with IF Bjorkloven.

Tomas Vokoun: As the Nashville Predators starter, Vokoun tied with Belfour for victories (34). He missed the entire 2013-14 season recovering from a blood clot in his pelvis and is currently an unrestricted free agent.

Dan Cloutier: Finished fifth in wins (33) backstopping the Vancouver Canucks. Injuries shortened his career, forcing his retirement in 2010. He was hired by the Canucks in 2012 as their goaltender consultant in their player development department.

Jose Theodore: Playing for the Montreal Canadiens, Theodore tied with Cloutier for wins. His last NHL season was 2012-13 and he remains an unrestricted free agent.

David Aebischer: Collected 32 wins as the Colorado Avalanche’s starting goalie, ranking among the league leaders among NHL starters in goals-against average (2.06) and save percentage (.924). He last played in the NHL in 2007-08 and spent the past two seasons playing for Rapperswil-Jonas Lakers of the Swiss NLA.

Evgeni Nabokov: Backstopped the San Jose Sharks to 31 wins, finished third overall in shutouts (9), and had a 2.20 GAA and .921 SP. He signed a one-year contract this summer as a backup with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Chris Osgood: As a starter for the St. Louis Blue, Osgood tied with Nabokov in wins with 31, along with a 2.24 GAA. Osgood retired after the 2010-11 season. He sits tenth overall in career wins for NHL goalies (401) and won three Stanley Cup championships with the Detroit Red Wings. He’s now a Red Wings studio analyst with Fox Sports Detroit.

Next, the defensemen:

Scott Niedermayer won the Norris Trophy in 2004.

Scott Niedermayer won the Norris Trophy in 2004.

 Scott Niedermayer: Winner of the Norris Trophy in 2004 as the NHL’s top defenseman. It was also Niedermayer’s final season with the New Jersey Devils. He signed with the Anaheim Ducks in 2005, where he was help them win the 2007 Stanley Cup. Niedermayer retired in 2010 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2013. He lives in Newport Beach, California and spends his time involved in charitable causes. He and his brother Rob also run a hockey school in Cranbrook, BC.

Zdeno Chara: Named to the 2004 First All-Star Team as a member of the Ottawa Senators. Chara went on to become captain of the Boston Bruins, helping them win the 2011 Stanley Cup. He also won the Norris Trophy in 2009.

Chris Pronger: Named to the 2004 Second All-Star team as a member of the St. Louis Blues. He went on to productive seasons with Edmonton, Anaheim (helping them win the 2007 Stanley Cup) and Philadelphia. Injuries have sidelined him since November 2011. While not officially retired, his playing career is over.

Bryan McCabe: Named to the 2004 Second All-Star team as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs. McCabe announced his retirement in 2012 after 15 NHL seasons. He now works for the Florida Panthers as their manager of player development.

Bryan Berard: Won the 2004 Masterton Trophy for overcoming a career-threatening eye injury. He played his final NHL season in 2007-08 and retired professionally the following year. He’s currently involved in a lawsuit with an insurance company, seeking $18 million in benefits, interest and penalties.

Sergei Gonchar: He was the leading scoring among NHL defensemen in 2003-04 with 58 points in 71 games splits between the Capitals and the Bruins. Now 40, he’s currently in the final year of his contract with the Dallas Stars.