By Michael Walters
Today the Swiss Hockey Federation announced that Jonas Hiller retired from their national team. Hiller joined the Switzerland team for the Winter Olympics in PeyongChang, Korea. Switzerland lost to Germany ending any chance of earning a medal.
Hiller played nine seasons in the NHL with the Anaheim Ducks and Calgary Flames. He started with Anaheim during the 2007-2008 season and then played his last two NHL seasons(2014-15 and 2015-16) with the Flames. He went 197-140-37 in his career with a goals-against average of 2.55 and save percentage of .914%.
One of the best moments as a Duck was when he was in net for the Ducks Stadium Series game against Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium. He “pitched” a shutout and the Ducks won 3-1. It’s still the only Stadium Series game the Ducks have participated in.
Another good moment in Anaheim for Hiller had to be the first round of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Anaheim Ducks faced off as the 8th seed against the first place San Jose Sharks. The Ducks ended up surprising many and knocked the Sharks out in six games. Hiller had two shutouts in the series and one of the two losses came in overtime. The Ducks almost made it to the Western Conference Final but lost in seven games to Detroit in the next round.
The Ducks never got past the second round of the playoffs in Hiller’s tenure in Anaheim. Some felt Hiller was never the same after the slapshot by Kris Letang that he took to his goalie mask in the 2011 All-Star game. He missed several games afterward and at that time had this to say, “It feels like I’m always falling behind the play. It’s like I can’t keep up with the puck anymore. I might be physically there, but I always feel like my head’s not there yet. I almost feel like I’m running behind the whole play for half a second or something. I’m always trying to catch up, which throws me off even more.”
Hiller managed to continue to play in Anaheim for a few more seasons before joining Calgary for his last two NHL seasons. In the 2015 playoffs, he faced his old Anaheim team but only played in Game 1 of the series. Anaheim went on to win the series 4-1. The following season Calgary did not make the playoffs and Hiller left the NHL to play in Europe.
What’s next for Jonas Hiller is not certain, but we wish him well in his future endeavors.
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February 20th, 2017