Hedican had 294 points and 893 penalty minutes in 1,039 games with the St. Louis Blues, Vancouver Canucks, Florida Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes, and Anaheim Ducks. He was just the 14th American-born defenseman to play in 1,000 games. He played for Team USA twice in the Winter Olympics and won a Stanley Cup with the 2006 Carolina Hurricanes. "I'm proud to have played this game for as long as I have and I'm leaving with no regrets," said Hedican. "I want to thank all of the general managers who believed in me, the coaches who got the best out of me and all of my teammates who made me a better hockey player."
Bret had an effective stint as a Canuck, and a fantastic career. He married Kristi Yamiguchi, I suppose to create the best skating progeny the world has ever seen. Although not many Hedican #3 shirts ever graced the backs of Canucks fans at Pacific Coliseum, I think we can all agree he was a well-liked and useful player for the mid-90s Canucks teams.
But, that is not why I posted this.
Indeed, he is the last active NHL player from the Vancouver Canucks 1994 Stanley Cup Finals team. It is the end of an era. The only other player on either team still active in the NHL is Alexei Kovalev. It is hard to believe that a whole generation of NHL players have come and gone since that magical spring. Fifteen years is a long time, and it just goes to show how appreciative we must be when our team finally puts a run together in the playoffs. Here's hoping our Canucks have another special playoff journey in them in the near future.