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Paul Kariya

Paul Tetsuhiko Kariya (born October 16, 1974 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), is a professional ice hockey player who plays for the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League.

Playing career

Paul Kariya scored 91 goals and 153 assists for 244 points in 94 games for the Penticton Panthers of the British Columbia Junior Hockey League. He was the first freshman to win the Hobey Baker Award, notching 33 goals and 91 assists for 124 points in 51 games, helping the University of Maine to a 42–1–2 record, and the 1992–93 NCAA and Hockey East titles in his only full season. His brother, Steve, captained Maine to the 1998–99 NCAA title. Their brother, Martin, helped Maine get to the 2002 "Frozen Four" finals.

He failed to score as Canada's last shooter in a shootout against Sweden in the 1994 Olympic Gold Medal game, but he helped Canada win gold in the 2002 Winter Olympics. He was picked by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (now known as the Anaheim Ducks) 4th overall in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft.

His best season statistically so far was 1995–96, scoring 50 goals and 58 assists for 108 points.

When Anaheim traded for Teemu Selänne with the Winnipeg Jets, Kariya was placed on a line with Selänne, and Steve Rucchin. The combinition of Paul and Teemu became a lethal force against their opponents becoming one of the best duos in the NHL.

Paul missed the 1998 Winter Olympics due to a concussion suffered from an on-ice crosscheck by Gary Suter.

In 2003, he and the Ducks reached their first Stanley Cup finals. Kariya was third on the team in playoff scoring (behind Adam Oates and Petr Sykora), scoring six goals and adding six assists. However he will best be remembered for a dramatic moment. During the second period in Game 6, Kariya took a hard check from the New Jersey Devils' Scott Stevens and lay on the ice for several minutes. He went to the locker room, but returned and 11 minutes later scored a goal to give the Ducks a 4–1 lead and that goal turned out to be the game winning goal. Anaheim would win the game 5–2, but lose the series in 7 games. Many felt Kariya's equipment changes following his first concussion may have saved him from being rendered unconscious from the Stevens hit.

At a team rally following the Ducks' Game 7 loss to the Devils, Kariya promised to bring the Cup to Anaheim in 2004. But shortly after, Kariya broke the hearts of Anaheim fans everywhere. A verbal agreement with, then GM, Bryan Murray was broken by Kariya after his $10 Million a year contract was not qualified. It was Murray's intention (which is what Kariya had verbally agreed to do) to re-sign Kariya at a lower amount (believed to be in the $6–7 Mil range) and use the extra money to find the final piece to the cup puzzle via Free Agency. Instead, Kariya took an $8.5 million paycut, ensuring himself unrestricted free agency at season's end, when he and former Ducks teammate Teemu Selänne signed with the Colorado Avalanche on July 3, 2003 where he believed he had a better chance at winning the cup. The result, however legal due to a non-binding agreement, left many Anaheim fans heart broken and angry, to this day Kariya receives loud boos whenever he plays at the Honda Center.

Kariya signed a two-year contract with the Nashville Predators on August 5, 2005, as an unrestricted free agent.

Kariya, in the 2005–2006 NHL Season, tallied 31 goals and 54 assists, accumulating his most points since the 1999–2000 campaign. Paul played in all 82 games, joining Dan Hamhuis as the only Predators to do so. On April 18, 2006 , the last day of the regular season, Kariya scored a hat trick against the Detroit Red Wings in a 6–3 win. Kariya finished the year 4th in the NHL in shootout shot percentage, converting on 5 of 7 attempts.

On November 1, 2006, Kariya made it to the 800 point milestone against the Edmonton Oilers.

On July 1, 2007, Kariya signed a three-year contract worth $18 million with the St. Louis Blues.

Kariya was assigned as one of the alternate captains of the Blues organization. He, along with Keith Tkachuk, and Barret Jackman will rotate the position throughout the season. Kariya leads the team with points this year and he also scored a hat trick against the Stars on December 29, 2007 recording his 900th career point.

Awards

Records

  • Anaheim Ducks franchise record for assists in a season, 62 (1998–99)
  • Nashville Predators franchise record for goals in a season, 31 (2005–06) -- (Tied with Steve Sullivan)
  • Nashville Predators franchise record for assists in a season, 54 (2005–06)
  • Nashville Predators franchise record for points in a season, 85 (2005–06)

Career statistics

    Regular Season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1992–93 University of Maine HE 39 25 75 100 12
1993–94 University of Maine HE 12 8 16 24 4
1994–95 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 47 18 21 39 4
1995–96 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 82 50 58 108 20
1996–97 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 69 44 55 99 6 11 7 6 13 4
1997–98 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 22 17 14 31 23
1998–99 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 82 39 62 101 40 3 1 3 4 0
1999–00 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 74 42 44 86 24
2000–01 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 66 33 34 67 20
2001–02 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 82 32 25 57 28
2002–03 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 82 25 56 81 48 21 6 6 12 6
2003–04 Colorado Avalanche NHL 51 11 25 36 22 1 0 1 1 0
2004–05 Did not play See 2004–05 NHL lockout
2005–06 Nashville Predators NHL 82 31 54 85 40 5 2 5 7 0
2006–07 Nashville Predators NHL 82 24 52 76 36 5 0 2 2 2
2007–08 St. Louis Blues NHL 82 16 49 65 50
NHL Totals 903 382 549 931 361 46 16 23 39 12
HE Totals 51 33 91 124 16

International play

Played for Canada in:

International statistics

Year Team Event   GP G A Pts PIM
1992 Canada WJC 6 1 1 2 2
1993 Canada WJC 7 2 6 8 2
1993 Canada WC 8 2 7 9 0
1994 Canada Oly. 8 3 4 7 2
1994 Canada WC 8 5 7 12 2
1996 Canada WC 8 4 3 7 2
2002 Canada Oly. 6 3 1 4 0
Int'l Totals 51 20 29 49 10

See also

References

External links

Note: Teemu Selänne served as captain during later-half of the 1997–98 season. Kariya was injured and out of the line-up.

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