An injury convinced the 40-year-old to call it quits, with Plekanec playing nine games for Kladno this season while collecting a goal and three assists. Plekanec also suited up with Jaromir Jagr and his squad during both the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons.
Tomáš Plekanec retired
After health problems he is not able to finish this season, so he decided to end his playing career in his native Kladno.
👏@TomasPleky14 🔵🔴⚪️@AZadarski @EricEngels @ArponBasu @Dave_Stubbs @StuCowan1 @MAGodin @TonyMarinaro pic.twitter.com/OBaVa5MYBc
— Matěj Hejda (@matej_hejda33) October 28, 2023
Looking back at the stellar NHL career of Tomas Plekanec
While he ended his career with an extended stay close to home, most fans likely remember his long run with the Canadiens. The Canadiens selected Plekanec with a third-round pick (71st overall) back in 2001. The pivot eventually played a remarkable 984 of his 1,001 NHL regular-season games with Montreal, at one point wearing the “A” as an alternate captain.
Plenty of Habs fans — and maybe some fans in Toronto — may prefer to forget Plekanec being traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Montreal moved Plekanec during the 2018 NHL Trade Deadline, with the veteran only managing two points in 17 games during the regular season before collecting four points in 7 playoff games.
Plekanec ultimately concluded his career playing three more games with Montreal in 2018-19, including his 1000th career game, before heading to Kladno.
Upon announcing his retirement, praise quickly poured in for Plekanec.
A very smart team player who gave you everything he had every day. A real pro and a class gentleman. A great example for other players - on and off the ice. Well done @TomasPleky14 Congrats 👍 https://t.co/oRWZNJSlDV
— Tony Marinaro (@TonyMarinaro) October 28, 2023
InGoal Magazine’s Paul Campbell pointed out Plekanec’s all-around brilliance (“his solid, unrelenting, constant presence”) rather than what might show up in highlight reels.
If you want to teach your kids to play hockey, show them film on Tomas Plekanec. Notice I didn’t say highlights. His strengths weren’t visible in quick flashes of brilliance. His solid, unrelenting, constant presence made itself felt throughout the game, more than 1000 times.
— Paul Campbell (@WayToGoPaul) October 28, 2023
Plekanec generated eight 20+ goal seasons in Montreal, peaking with a 25-goal, 70-point campaign in 2009-10. This three-year player card from Evolving Hockey is a nice snapshot of his peak with the Habs.
Overall, he scored 233 goals and 375 assists for 608 points in 1,001 games to go along with 18 goals and 53 points in 94 career playoff games. Much like Jagr, there was the sense he could have given NHL fans even a touch more, but he authored a heck of a career.