Steve Valiquette, former backup goaltender for the New York Rangers, has officially retired from the NHL per Matias Strozyk:
— Matias Strozyk (@MaStrozyk) July 12, 2012
Valiquette was Henrik Lundqvist’s last consistent backup goaltender before Martin Biron was acquired by the Rangers in 2010.
Perhaps Valiquette’s best feat was going 3-0 against the Philadelphia Flyers in 2007, stopping 95 of 99 shots on goal. Valiquette was 14-14-5 in his career with the Rangers, and posted four shutouts.
He played a career 46 games in the NHL, with a record of 16-14-7, a .905 save percentage, and 2.74 goals-against average.
Unbeknownst to most, Valiquette also played one season with HC CSKA Moscow of the KHL in 2010-2011, and was subsequently offered a contract with Yaroslavl Lokomotiv right before the fateful plane crash that killed 43 of 45 passengers in the fall of 2011.
Valiquette turned down the contract with Lokomotiv because it didn’t guarantee playing time, which was the deal-breaker. Ultimately, his decision saved his life.