Twelve years have gone by since Joe Juneau first laced up his skates in the NHL. Today, however, at the age of 36 and just days after his team saw themselves heading home after a second round loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the classy centreman called it quits.
Juneau spent time with six different organizations, a list which also includes Boston, Washington, Buffalo, Ottawa, and Phoenix.
After being dealt to the Habs in the summer of 2001, he anchored the checking line and was a key member of a highly successful Montreal penalty kill, along with teammate Andreas Dackell.
Once a highly successful offensive player, he recorded a career high 102 points in 1992-93, Juneau would see himself become a much more defensive player over time.
As time wore on, Juneau’s legs began to wind down, and, it appeared that his career was planning to as well. However, the astute forward continued on to play three seasons with the Habs.
Coming into the 2003-04 seaon many expected that Juneau, a genious of sorts who had even completed his own airplane, was done, and could have soon been replaced by a new face. However, he kept on plugging, made the team, and posted 15 points in 70 games.
His ice time may have lessened over the course of the year, but his spirits never dampened. With all of the controversy that has supposedly swirled throughout the locker room in these past two seasons, a sturdy veteran such as Juneau was surely a valuable asset to the hockey club.
It appears that Juneau picked a perfect way to head away from the ice, with his head held high. The 6’0, 195 pound native of Point Rouge played his heart out in the postseason, and was the creator of the Habs’ only goal in game four.
You have to think that this is a guy with a very bright future ahead of him. Whether it revolves around the rink or not remains to be said. Some might say he seems like the type who may some day find himself in a front office, and it’s hard to disagree. Perhaps, if that was to be the path that he follows, he may one day set eyes on the one thing that has eluded him, the Stanley Cup.
On behalf of the fans, congratulations, and thank you, to Joe Juneau on an a very good career, and for serving the Habs very well in such a classy manner.