San Jose, CA – Former San Jose captain Owen Nolan officially announced his retirement on Tuesday.
Nolan disclosed his decision during a press conference at HP Pavilion, the home of the Sharks, the team for which he spent a large portion of his career.
"When your body won't do what your mind and your heart is willing to do, it's time to move on," said a teary-eyed Nolan. "I've enjoyed every minute of it."
The top overall pick by the Quebec Nordiques in 1990, Nolan last played in the NHL with the Minnesota Wild in 2009-10. He attempted a comeback last fall, signing a professional tryout contract with the Vancouver Canucks after a year in the Swiss National League A, but was cut.
Nolan, who will turn 40 Sunday, was a member of the Nordiques when the franchise relocated to Colorado in 1995, and the newly dubbed Avalanche traded Nolan early in the ensuing season to San Jose, where he quickly became the face of the team.
The right winger represented the Sharks in four of his five All-Star appearances, including 1997, when the event was held in San Jose. He delighted the home crowd with a hat trick, notably calling his shot on a breakaway against Dominik Hasek on the final tally.
Nolan became the fifth captain in team history in October 1998 and served in that role until he was dealt to Toronto in March 2003. He ranks second in club annals in goals (206), and third in assists (245), points (451) and games played (568).
The Belfast native also played for Phoenix and Calgary, finishing with 422 goals and 463 assists in 1,200 career games.