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Published: Tuesday, 8/13/2013

Walleye forward Randy Rowe retires after 12-year career

BY MARK MONROE
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Toledo Walleye forward Randy Rowe, a future ECHL hall of famer, has decided to hang up his skates after a 12-year career.

Rowe played in 622 ECHL games and finished his iron-man career in a Walleye uniform this past season, which was his second stint with Toledo.

Last season, Rowe became just the seventh player in the 25-year history of the ECHL to reach the 600 games played plateau.

Rowe ranks 14th in ECHL history with 236 goals and is tied for 18th all-time with 521 points.

Rowe, who turned 33 in June, said the physical aspect of the game had taken its toll.

“Over the last few years, the body has been taking a beating,” Rowe said. “I had good weeks and bad weeks this summer with my body. So I decided if I want to live a productive life after hockey and keep active, this is the right thing to do.”

Rowe was honored as a member of the ECHL All-Decade Team in 2010.

Last season with the Walleye, Rowe tallied 30 points with 14 goals and 16 assists in 61 regular-season games, while being assessed only 19 minutes in penalties.

After the season, Rowe won the ECHL's Sportsmanship Award. The honor is presented annually to the player who has exhibited the best sportsmanship combined with a high standard of playing ability.

The Burford, Ontario native played in 723 total games as a pro, including 101 in the American Hockey League.

“I've had a lot of good memories and met a lot of people though my career. It's hard to give it up,” Rowe said.

Rowe's pro career began in 2001-02 with the Peoria Rivermen. He has played in the ECHL for 12 seasons with Peoria, Johnstown, Charlotte, Trenton, and Toledo. Rowe said one of his proudest accomplishments was that he was never traded.

In 2004, Rowe was named Most Valuable Player of the 2004 ECHL all-star game in Peoria.

Rowe, who has settled in Belleville, Ontario where he played his junior career, said he may enter the coaching ranks. He also said he is considering becoming a firefighter or police officer.

“I would want people to remember me as a hard worker,” Rowe said. “I led by example and put in the second effort. If you don't have all the talent, you can still have the heart and hard work to do it.”

Contact Mark Monroe at: mmonroe@theblade.com, 419-724-6354 or on Twitter @MonroeBlade.



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