Owen Nolan

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Owen Nolan
Owen Nolan.JPG
Nolan with the Minnesota Wild in 2009
Born (1972-02-12) 12 February 1972 (age 47)
Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 214 lb (97 kg; 15 st 4 lb)
Position Right Wing
Shot Right
Played for Quebec Nordiques
Colorado Avalanche
San Jose Sharks
Toronto Maple Leafs
Phoenix Coyotes
Calgary Flames
Minnesota Wild
ZSC Lions
National team  Canada
NHL Draft 1st overall, 1990
Quebec Nordiques
Playing career 1990–2011

Owen Liam Nolan (born 12 February 1972) is an Irish[1]-Canadian former professional ice hockey player born in Northern Ireland. During his 18-year NHL career, he played for the Quebec Nordiques, Colorado Avalanche, San Jose Sharks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Phoenix Coyotes, Calgary Flames, Minnesota Wild,as well as playing a season with the ZSC Lions of National League A. Born in Northern Ireland, he was raised in Thorold, Ontario and played for Canada internationally. A five-time NHL All-Star, Nolan is widely known as a power forward.

Playing career[edit]

Minor Hockey[edit]

Nolan grew up in Thorold, Ontario playing minor hockey for Thorold in the OMHA. After playing A hockey for the Thorold bantam A's Nolan was selected in the second round of the 1988 OHL Priority Selection by the Cornwall Royals.

Quebec Nordiques – San Jose Sharks[edit]

Nolan was drafted first overall by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft, and played with them until nine games into the 1995–1996 season (this was the first season the team played in Denver as the Colorado Avalanche), when he was traded to the San Jose Sharks for defenceman Sandis Ozolinsh. During his tenure with the Sharks he was named captain, and registered his best career year in 1999–2000, finishing with 84 points, and tied for second in the NHL with 44 goals; that same year, the eighth seeded Sharks took out the first-seeded Blues in seven games with Nolan leading the way with six goals. In game seven, Nolan scored with 10 seconds left in the first period from just past centre ice, beating goaltender Roman Turek to give the Sharks a 2-0 lead; the goal propelled them to a 3-1, game seven victory and first round upset of the Blues.

Toronto Maple Leafs[edit]

Nolan was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs just before the NHL trade deadline in 2003, for players Alyn McCauley and Brad Boyes, and Toronto's first-round pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft; however his performance in Toronto was disappointing, he suffered from a series of injuries and never played at the same level as he had in San Jose.

Nolan broke new ground in contract negotiations, having a clause put in that stated if the 2004–05 NHL season was cancelled, then he would gain a player option for an additional year in 2005–06. However, with the NHL CBA in place, this option became a topic of debate. With the new NHL salary cap, the Maple Leafs deemed Nolan's salary too high, and refuse to recognize Nolan as under contract. Nolan argued that the option was valid, that he would play, and be paid, for the Toronto Maple Leafs, and that he deserved to be paid during the 2004–2005 NHL lock-out due to injury; the Maple Leafs, who deemed Nolan as healthy just after the lock-out, claimed that the injury was incurred off the ice and refused to pay Nolan's desired US$12 million. The case went to an arbitrator; this case was settled in late 2006, however, the terms of the agreement by Leafs management and Nolan were not disclosed. In 2005–2006, Nolan took time off for his injured knees to heal, training in San Jose at Sharks Ice. Before the playoff push, Nolan indicated that several teams (including San Jose) wanted to sign him, but he decided not to play because he wanted to be at 100%, both because he did not want to become re-injured and because he felt he owed his team that.


In the summer of 2006, during free agency, Nolan contemplated joining many teams before signing a one-year, US $1 million contract with the Phoenix Coyotes, he scored 16 goals to go with 24 assists during his only year in Phoenix before becoming a free agent once again. On 2 July 2007, Nolan signed with the Calgary Flames. On 22 October 2007, Nolan played his 1000th game.

On 30 January 2008, Nolan had his 11th career hat trick and first hat trick since 1999 in a 5-4 victory over former team the San Jose Sharks, he was honoured as the game's first star as his hat trick included a short-handed goal and the game winner, and Nolan also had a decisive victory in a second-period scrap with Mike Grier. On 13 April 2008, Nolan scored the game-winning goal in game three of the first round of the 2008 NHL Playoffs against his former team San Jose Sharks, it was his first playoff goal since 2002, when he was a member of the Sharks and the 19th playoff goal of his 18-year career.

On 6 July 2008, Nolan signed a two-year, $5.5 million contract with the Minnesota Wild.[2] On 10 March 2009, Nolan scored his 400th (and 401st) goal of his NHL career with the Minnesota Wild against the San Jose Sharks.[3]

A free agent prior to the 2010–11 season, and with the intention of continuing his NHL career, Nolan was unable to secure an NHL contract. With the beginning of the season underway, in order to garner interest and keep in game condition, Nolan signed a one-month contract with Swiss team, ZSC Lions of the National League A, on 20 October 2010.[4] On 4 August 2011, Nolan signed a tryout contract with the Vancouver Canucks, returning to the NHL after a year in Switzerland,[5] he was then released by the Vancouver Canucks on 25 September 2011, admittedly due to issues with his family.


On 7 February 2012, Nolan announced his retirement from professional hockey, at a press conference in San Jose five days before his 40th birthday, he was then immediately chosen for a ceremonial puck drop in a game against the Calgary Flames.[6]

All-Star appearances[edit]

Nolan has been chosen as an NHL all-star in 1991–92, 1995–96, 1996–97, 1999–2000, 2001–02, he was the runner-up to Mark Recchi for the All-Star game MVP in 1997, during which he performed a memorable 'called shot', pointing to the top corner of the net on a breakaway and promptly scoring there against Dominik Hašek to complete a hat trick.

Personal life[edit]

Nolan is one of six players in NHL history to be born in Ireland or Northern Ireland (Sid Finney, Bobby Kirk, Jim McFadden, Sammy McManus and Jack Riley are the others), he moved to Thorold, Ontario when he was seven months old and grew up playing baseball and soccer; it was not until he was nine that he began skating. He attended Denis Morris Catholic High School in St. Catharines, Ontario.

Nolan owns two restaurants called Britannia Arms in San Jose, California[7] and is a host of Fish TV, a fishing show in Canada, along with Ron James & Leo Stakos, he and his wife Diana have one daughter, Jordan, and one son, Dylan.

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1987–88 Thorold Black Hawks OMHA 28 53 32 85 24
1988–89 Cornwall Royals OHL 62 34 25 59 213 18 5 11 16 41
1989–90 Cornwall Royals OHL 58 51 60 111 240 6 7 5 12 26
1990–91 Halifax Citadels AHL 6 4 4 8 11
1990–91 Quebec Nordiques NHL 59 3 10 13 109
1991–92 Quebec Nordiques NHL 75 42 31 73 183
1992–93 Quebec Nordiques NHL 73 36 41 77 185 5 1 0 1 2
1993–94 Quebec Nordiques NHL 6 2 2 4 8
1994–95 Quebec Nordiques NHL 46 30 19 49 46 6 2 3 5 6
1995–96 Colorado Avalanche NHL 9 4 4 8 9
1995–96 San Jose Sharks NHL 72 29 32 61 137
1996–97 San Jose Sharks NHL 72 31 32 63 155
1997–98 San Jose Sharks NHL 75 14 27 41 144 6 2 2 4 26
1998–99 San Jose Sharks NHL 78 19 26 45 129 6 1 0 1 6
1999–00 San Jose Sharks NHL 78 44 40 84 110 10 8 2 10 6
2000–01 San Jose Sharks NHL 57 24 25 49 75 6 1 1 2 8
2001–02 San Jose Sharks NHL 75 23 43 66 93 12 3 6 9 8
2002–03 San Jose Sharks NHL 61 22 20 42 91
2002–03 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 14 7 5 12 16 7 0 2 2 2
2003–04 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 65 19 29 48 110
2006–07 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 76 16 24 40 56
2007–08 Calgary Flames NHL 77 16 16 32 71 7 3 2 5 2
2008–09 Minnesota Wild NHL 59 25 20 45 26
2009–10 Minnesota Wild NHL 73 16 17 33 40
2010–11 ZSC Lions NLA 24 7 19 26 53 5 2 2 4 2
NHL totals 1200 422 463 885 1793 65 21 18 39 66
Medal record
Ice hockey
Representing  Canada
Winter Olympics
Gold medal – first place 2002 Salt Lake City
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1997 Helsinki


Year Team Event Result GP G A Pts PIM
1997 Canada WC 1st, gold medalist(s) 10 4 3 7 31
2002 Canada OG 1st, gold medalist(s) 6 0 3 3 2
Senior totals 16 4 6 10 33

Awards and honours[edit]

Award Year
Emms Family Award 1989
First All-Star Team 1990
Jim Mahon Memorial Trophy 1990
All-Star Game 1992, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2002

See also[edit]


  1. ^ https://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/nolan-wears-green-proudly/article995669/
  2. ^ "Wild signs forward Owen Nolan". Minnesota Wild. 6 July 2008. Retrieved 20 July 2010.
  3. ^ "Nolan's pair notches milestone; earns point for Wild". CBS Sports. 10 March 2009. Retrieved 20 July 2010.
  4. ^ LeBrun, Pierre (20 October 2010). "Owen Nolan hoping for NHL comeback". ESPN. Retrieved 4 November 2010.
  5. ^ "Canucks sign Owen Nolan, Todd Fedoruk". National Hockey League. 4 August 2011. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
  6. ^ "Owen Nolan retires from professional hockey". San Jose Sharks. 7 February 2012. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
  7. ^ "Former San Jose Sharks captain Owen Nolan sells ranch to enlarge Grant County Park". Retrieved 16 December 2014.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Mats Sundin
NHL first overall draft pick
Succeeded by
Eric Lindros
Preceded by
Mats Sundin
Quebec Nordiques first round draft pick
Succeeded by
Eric Lindros
Preceded by
Todd Gill
San Jose Sharks captain
Succeeded by
Rotating captains
Mike Ricci
Preceded by
Chris Pronger
EA Sports NHL Cover Athlete
NHL 2001
Succeeded by
Mario Lemieux