Jonathan Cheechoo, the only player in Sharks history to win an NHL goal-scoring title, officially called it a career and announced his retirement on Tuesday. The Sharks will recognize Cheechoo's career on March 24, prior to puck drop in a game against the Calgary Flames. "I have been privileged to be able to reach my goals and to play the game that I love," Cheechoo said in a statement. "Hockey has taken me from Moose Factory (Ont.) to San Jose and many places around the world." The first member of the Moose Cree First nation to play in the NHL, Cheechoo grew up over 500 miles north of Toronto in Moose Factory. His talent was apparent at an early age, and his community raised $15,000 to send him to tournaments and camps in Toronto to work with professional coaches, according to a 2007 ESPN The Magazine Profile. "With the tremendous support of his immediate family and his extended Cree First Nations family, Jonathan completed a remarkable journey from one of North America's remote locations to an elite National Hockey League player," Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement. San Jose drafted Cheechoo in the second round of the NHL Draft in 1998, and he made his professional debut with the Kentucky Thoroughblades, then the Sharks' AHL affiliate, two years later. In 2002, the 22-year-old Cheechoo made his NHL debut, scoring nine goals in 66 games with San Jose.
Jonathan Cheechoo, only 50-goal scorer in Sharks history, retires
NBC Sports Bay Area | Mar 6