At 36 years old, Marius Czerkawski has decided to retire. The former Oiler (who is also connected to two teams Edmonton has often dealt with over the years, NYI and Boston) had been playing in Switzerland the last couple of seasons.
He played in 745 NHL games, going 215-220-435 in that time. He played in the 2000 All-Star game and was part of a couple of very interesting trades involving Edmonton:
- Traded to Edmonton by Boston with Sean Brown and Boston’s 1st round choice (Mathieu Descoteaux) in 1996 Entry Draft for Bill Ranford, January 11, 1996.
- Traded to NY Islanders by Edmonton for Dan Lacouture, August 25, 1997.
Czerkawski was born in Radomsko, Poland and had a fine career. He’s best remembered as an Oiler for being a part of the 96-97 team (76gp, 26-21-47) that boasted 10 excellent young forwards 25 and under (they were: Doug Weight, Ryan Smyth, Jason Arnott, Czerkawski, Todd Marchant, Mike Grier, Rem Murray, Dean McAmmond, Miroslav Satan, Mats Lindgren) and beat Dallas 4-3 in the opening series (won game 7 April 29, 1997 in the third OT game of that series all won by the Oilers).
He was skilled perimeter player who once found himself being sent to the minors and forced to play his way back to the show. He did just that, showing some jam. Married a pretty girl (Izabella Scorupco) and generally seemed to enjoy himself in the spotlight.
Czerkawski played 42 times for the Polish national ice hockey team and scored 24 goals and would have to be considered in any discussion of the greatest players from this country.