Injuries force ex-Sen Pitlick to hang up skates
By BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun
CHESTER, N.S. -- Lance Pitlick had to fight for everything
he got in his NHL career, but yesterday, he decided
he couldn't win the battle with Father Time.
The former Senators defenceman, who was in training
camp vying for a spot with the Colorado Avalanche, told
the Sun he's decided to retire because he can no longer
stand the pain that goes with playing the game.
Because of his strong work ethic and easy-going attitude,
Pitlick was one of the most popular players to ever
wear a Senators uniform. Yesterday, the 35-year-old
told Avalanche GM Pierre Lacroix and coach Bob Hartley
that he was done.
"I fought the good fight, but it's over. I decided
to retire," Pitlick said from Denver. "I've
been thinking about it for awhile and I wanted to leave
on my own terms. I want to go while I can still live
a normal lifestyle off the ice.
"I've been taking (pain relief) drugs for the
last two weeks in camp just to help ease the pain.
"I spoke with Peter Forsberg the other night
and he told me the reason he took (last) year off was
because he couldn't stand the pain. I just can't deal
with the pain anymore. It's time for me to move on."
During his eight NHL seasons, Pitlick recorded 16
goals, 33 assists and 298 penalty minutes in 393 regular-season
He established himself as a full-time big-leaguer
with Ottawa from 1995-99, before leaving as an unrestricted
"My best memories are going to be with the Senators.
I had fun my three years in Florida, but Ottawa is the
place I'm always going to remember because of the people
and the success we had," said Pitlick.
"I spoke with (Sens president) Roy Mlakar because
I just wanted to thank him for everything he'd done
for me. I'm going to do the same (with coach) Jacques
Martin. He was great to me. Everybody in that city was."
Pitlick says he's not sure what lies ahead for him.
"I've got some friends with a place in the mountains
outside Denver. I think I'm going to go there for a
few days and just spend time with them. I could stay
home, but I'd drive my wife (Lisa) nuts," he said.
"Right now, I just need some time to think about
things. This was a big decision for me, but I know it
was the right one."