Former Washington Capitals forward Troy Brouwer is hanging up the skates.
The 36-year-old announced his retirement from professional hockey on Thursday. Brouwer, who was originally drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the seventh round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. During his 14-year NHL tenure, he laced ’em up for Chicago for five seasons, Washington for four seasons, the St. Louis Blues for two seasons, the Calgary Flames for two seasons and the Florida Panthers for one season. Brouwer’s final season came on a professional tryout with the Blues in 2019-20. He finished with one goal in 13 games during the pandemic-shortened season.
Over the course of his career, he used his size to his advantage and combined physicality with strong play on the forecheck. Through 851 career games, he dished 182 goals, 363 points, 595 PIM and a whopping 2,047 hits. He also won the Stanley Cup in Chicago in 2010.
Washington acquired Brouwer in the 2011 offseason, and he quickly became a fan favorite given his personality, hard-hitting style and reliable role on the ice. He played hero in the 2015 NHL Winter Classic against his former Blackhawks squad, scoring a power-play goal with 12.9 seconds left in regulation to lift the Capitals to a 3-2 victory at Nationals Park. Brouwer also had a fan club in D.C. known as the “Brouwer Rangers.”
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The Vancouver, B.C. native hit career highs with Washington, including reaching the 25-goal mark. He registered back-to-back 20-plus goal campaigns as well. Ultimately, he ended up with 83 goals and 152 points in 293 games over four seasons with the Capitals. Washington ultimately traded Brouwer in 2015 as part of the deal for T.J. Oshie.
Looking back on his career, Brouwer told stlouisblues.com that he’s happy with how he spent his career and that he made some of his closest friends in Washington, D.C.
“Not too bad for a young guy who was just hoping one day he could play one NHL game and flourish into a pretty solid career from there,” Brouwer said. “You always hope you can play one NHL game. Then you hope it’s 10 games, then so on and so on. There were some days where you get called up and sent down, and you’re not quite sure if things are really going to pan out the way you want them to. But perseverance, being surrounded by great people, great family and great friends can make it all work out.”