After nearly thirty years in professional hockey, journeying through clubs across North America and Europe, Czech mainstay winger Martin Ručinský has announced his retirement at the age of 44, ending his career with three World Championships and one Olympic title.
Ručinský joined the NHL in 1991, after a few breakout seasons with HC Litvínov of the Czech league, debuting with the Oilers for just two games before being traded to the Québec Nordiques. Ručinský spent five seasons with the organization, being traded to Montréal shortly after the team’s move to Colorado in 1995, spending another seven seasons with Les Canadiens. Following a trade to Dallas in 2002, Ručinský became an NHL journeyman, spending short stints with the Stars, New York, St. Louis and Vancouver before returning to Czechia in 2008. After seven seasons with both Sparta Praha and Litvínov, winning the Extraliga title and MVP in his final season, Ručinský will now retire with a combined 394 goals and 928 points in 1,386 career games.
Ručinský made up for his lack of pro achievements in spades while suiting up for the Narodnitym, playing in five World Championships, three Olympic Games, the 1991 Canada Cup and both World Cups of Hockey during the Czech “golden era.” Ručinský collected three World Championship Golds (1999, 2001, 2005) and the Republic’s first ever Olympic Gold at Nagano in 1998, along with bronze medals from the 2006 Olympics and 2004 World Cup.
Winning his first IHLC as the incumbent title holders leading into the 1994 World Championships, Ručinský would win the IHLC another eight times throughout his career, with wins at the Olympics (1998, 2002, 2006), World Championships (in 1999, 2001, 2004, 2005), with the last win being on the Euro Hockey Tour in February 2015. We wish Martin and his family the very best for his retirement and the things to come!