Ziggy Palffy retires as one of most underappreciated players

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

Ziggy Palffy played his final NHL season with Pittsburgh. (USATSI)
Ziggy Palffy played his final NHL season with Pittsburgh. (USATSI)

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You would be excused if you were unaware Ziggy Palffy was still playing hockey professionally this past season, but that won't be the case anymore. Palffy hung up his skates for good, announcing his decision on Wednesday in somewhat poetic fashion.

"One morning is more beautiful than the previous one, and you have other opinions," Palffy said. "At this point, I believe that I quit. Definitive. Already I do not want to travel anywhere. Did it enough."

And so ends the career of a player who never seemed to get his due. Heck, just this past season playing back in his native Slovakia Palffy was a monster, racking up 83 points in just 48 games. I don't care what the quality of competition is, to do that in the professional ranks at age 41 is impressive. Just look at what he had done in the past few years in Slovakia.

It's not like it was that out of the ordinary for Palffy, though. He spent 12 seasons in the NHL, last playing for Pittsburgh way back in 2005-06 at the age of 33. In those 12 seasons he was a point-per-game player or better in nine of them and the first one doesn't even really count as he played just five games with no points.

Despite that, Palffy only ever made three All-Star Game appearances despite playing when the scoring started to go down in the NHL. Even in 2002-03 with the Kings he had 37 goals and 48 assists in just 76 games. It doesn't quite seem to add up other than to come to the conclusion that Palffy never did get the respect he deserved as an excellent player and scorer in the NHL.

Overall he had 713 points in 684 career games, 329 of those points coming on goals. His career 1.04 points per game is the 38th best mark in league history. Not too shabby.

Is this to say that Palffy will be a Hall of Fame contender in a few years? No. But maybe if there were a Hall of Very Good, Palffy would be there even with his relatively brief NHL career.

Oh, Palffy also had one of the highest high kiss-to-goals ratio in NHL history as well. Enjoy retirement, Ziggy.

 
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