Curtis Glencross. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)
After failing to latch on with a team this off-season, Curtis Glencross has announced his retirement. Glencross, 32, had professional tryouts with the Avalanche and Maple Leafs in the pre-season but didn’t land a deal. Glencross retires with 134 goals and 275 points in 507 career games.
Less than 10 months after the Washington Capitals acquired Curtis Glencross as one of their big trade deadline pieces, the veteran left winger has decided to call it a career.
TSN’s Darren Dreger reported Tuesday that Glencross, 32, has said he intends to retire and isn’t interested in pursuing any potential playing options overseas. Other veteran players have found ways to continue their careers in leagues like the SHL or KHL, but Glencross isn’t going to be going down that road.
"We have weighed our options and with the young family I'm enjoying a lot of firsts with them,” Glencross told Dreger.
Glencross’ decision comes as a surprise considering as recent as this past off-season he had latched on with both the Toronto Maple Leafs and Colorado Avalanche on professional tryout contracts. Though he wasn’t able to find a fit with either organization, he would have certainly provided some offensive punch were either team willing to offer him a deal, but both organizations were looking to get younger, not add veterans.
“We’ve talked to a few teams,” Glencross told The Calgary Sun’s Eric Francis in August. “They want to do a trade before camp, but it seems like no team wants to make the first move. So I’m just waiting. There’s still got to be something out there. I still want to play. I’m only 32 and thinking I have a few more years left in me.”
The league is getting younger, which could be why Glencross has decided to hang up his skates, but it’s hard to believe no club could have used the two-time 20-goal scorer. He was a consistent threat for around 15 goals and 35 points per year. He could have been a nice addition for an injury-stricken team.
In order to make a career for himself in the NHL, Glencross took a difficult path. Undrafted out of the NCAA’s University of Alaska-Anchorage, he went on to sign as a free agent with the Anaheim Ducks. He spent the next three seasons working his way up the depth chart in Anaheim before being dealt to the Columbus Blue Jackets as part of a six-player deal in 2007.
Glencross played just 43 games in Columbus before the Edmonton Oilers snagged him from the Blue Jackets in exchange for Dick Tarnstrom. After a 26-game stint with the Oilers, Glencross would then land with the Calgary Flames where he enjoyed the most productive seven seasons of his career. While in Calgary, Glencross inked a four-year, $10.2-million deal. But he said this past summer that he regretted taking what he called a “hometown discount” to stay with the Flames.
“I love my time in Calgary and the organization, but you learn that eventually it’s a business and you’re just a number,” Glencross told Francis. “If I could do it again … as much as I love (Calgary) and call it home and met great people, at the same time, when it’s time for you to cash in, you have to take advantage and cash in. You can’t take a pay-cut or hometown discount because things change.”
As a Flame in 2011-12, Glencross scored a career-high 26 goals and 48 points in 67 games and was one of the leaders for Calgary during some difficult seasons. At the trade deadline in 2014-15, with Glencross no longer in the Flames’ plans as the team got younger, he was dealt to the Capitals for second- and third-round picks in 2015.
Over the course of a 507-game career with the Capitals, Flames, Oilers, Blue Jackets, and Ducks, Glencross tallied 134 goals and 275 points.