TORONTO (CP) - For Kirk Muller, 19 years of uprooting his family was
``No regrets,'' the six-time all-star forward said Tuesday in
announcing his retirement.
But lots of good memories.
At the top of the list is the 1993 Stanley Cup run with Montreal.
``No question, winning the Stanley Cup and hoisting that cup right
there in Montreal,'' the 37-year-old Muller said from a golf course
near his Kingston, Ont., home. ``The bonus part was that I had a lot
of friends and family that made the drive down to witness it.''
Another thrill was playing for both of Kingston's favourite NHL
teams, with the hockey-mad city close to the halfway point on the
highway between Toronto and Montreal.
Muller's Canadiens won the Stanley Cup in a five-game final over Los
Angeles. Doug Gilmour, a close friend and fellow Kingston native, and
the Maple Leafs fell to the Kings in a seven-game Western Conference
``The irony of being the captain of Montreal and Dougie (Gilmour) in
Toronto and being one game away from facing each other in the Stanley
Cup final was real excitement for our town,'' Muller said.
Muller leaves the game with 357 career goals, 602 assists and 959
points in 1,349 regular season games.
Selected second overall in the 1984 draft - behind Pittsburgh's Mario
Lemieux - Muller played seven seasons with the Devils before being
traded to Montreal in 1991. He also played for the New York
Islanders, Toronto, Florida and the Stars.
Muller became an unrestricted free agent this summer when his Dallas
contract ran out. When the Stars did not offer him a new deal, Muller
said he wanted to test the free agent market.
``I thought if I was to play at all, it would be one more season,''
he said Tuesday.
But the thought of packing the wife and kids up and moving one more
time was the deciding factor.
``I've just enrolled the kids back in school and I guess what I'd
like to do is relax a little bit here (in Kingston) before I jump in
with two feet at something.''
His best shot at a second Stanley Cup came when he signed as a free
agent with the defending champion Stars in 1999 and was reunited with
former teammates John MacLean and Mike Keane - a trio that would be
renown as the ``Grumpy Old Men'' line. The Stars reached the final in
2000, but lost in six games to New Jersey.
Muller lists Keane as the best teammate he ever had and retired
goalie Patrick Roy as the most competitive.
As to the secret of NHL longevity, Muller said: ``If I could give any
advice to any kid or anyone, I would say that right into my 19th year
I was still learning lots about the game.
``I think you've got to be open-minded and take input in different
ways to make you a better hockey player.''
Muller says his immediate future is to put his feet up and watch the
leaves change colour over the Thousand Islands.
``I know I want to get back into hockey whether it's doing TV or
coaching or helping young players. There's so many different things I
haven't had a chance to try. I think when the time's right I'd like
to get back into it and stay involved with the game.''