The St. Louis Blues have announced the retirement of defenceman Darryl Syder, bringing the two-time Stanley Cup winner's career to a close after eighteen seasons. A quiet and steady defender, Sydor won Stanley Cups with Dallas in 1999 and Tampa Bay in 2004.
Sydor recorded 30 points in 111 regular season games for the Lightning after being acquired midway through the 2003-2004 season. He added 7 assists in 28 playoff games for the Bolts. He was a key contributer on the blueline for a young Lightning team during their 2004 Cup run.
Adding Sydor to the lineup was a momentous occassion for me as a fan of the Tampa Bay Lightning. As a person cheering for a team that had struggled nearly its entire existence up to that point, adding Sydor told me two big things: a) The Lightning have finally gone out and acquired a really serious, proper defender. A Cup winning, top pairing defenceman. Not Jeff Norton or Bill Houlder, but a big boy, and b) it told me that the Lightning believed so much in their team, they were not making a trade to "right the ship" or "fix the problem," they were acquiring a player to load up for a playoff run. That was something the Lightning had never really done before.
Because of the feelings this trade created in me, I've always regarded the trade for Darryl Sydor as the moment that the Tampa Bay Lightning grew up. Am I alone here?
Oh, man. I've got myself all choked up here.
In 1,291 regular season games Darryl scored 98 goals and added 409 assists for 507 points. In 155 playoff games he scored 9 goals with 47 assists for 56 points.