Curtis Glencross Retires

Time and a hard playing style are no player’s friend. And a combination of the two have contributed to the retirement of a long-time Calgary Flames player, Curtis Glencross.

Curtis Glencross was never supposed to be a professional hockey player, at least based upon his background and status as a late-bloomer.

He had a strong stint with the AJHL’s Brooks bandits but was never really considered an NHL Draft candidate, so he went the way many players go when their NHL dreams are fading – to college. He suited up for a couple of seasons with the University of Alaska – Anchorage, where his rugged game drew the attention of several pro teams. He ended up leaving school and signing with the Anaheim Ducks organization.

Glencross’ first few seasons in minor-pro weren’t anything to write home about, but he eventually worked himself into a spot as one of the Ducks’ “tweener” bodies. He was traded during the 2006-07 season to Columbus, and from then-on he basically left the AHL behind. In 2007-08 he was traded in-season – again – this time much closer to home as he went to the Edmonton Oilers. He was a half-a-point per game player in Edmonton over half a season, but the Oilers opted not to keep him and he went to free agency and ended up a couple hours down the road in Calgary. (Flames fans frequently brought this up during subsequent Battles of Alberta, particularly in games where Glencross performed strongly against his old team.)

Glencross ended up being defined by his time in Calgary, and his time in Calgary helped define the franchise – for better and slightly for worse – as he served for several seasons as an alternate captain. He played six and a half seasons in Calgary, accumulating 418 regular season games and 242 points, but played just six post-season contests during his tenure. He was known for his hard-nosed, physical style of play. It’s what made him really effective during the first few years of his tenure and allowed him to excel at puck retrieval and gaining goals during goal-mouth scrums. He was willing to go to the hard areas of the ice, and it cost him. And eventually it caught up to him through injuries. He gradually lost his foot-speed as he entered into his 30s, and in-turn he lost his willingness to go into the tough areas of the ice – it’s tough to do that when your body has been ground down over the years by playing that style. (A similar thing happened to Robyn Regehr, though a lot of that was due to knee injuries taking away his mobility.)

Glencross was traded to Washington at the trade deadline last season for a second round pick and a third round pick in last summer’s NHL Draft. The picks he was used to acquire were used, in-part, to (a) trade for Dougie Hamilton and (b) trade-up to pick Oliver Kylington. He was unable to find full-time NHL employment this summer, and spent time briefly with Toronto and Colorado on professional try-outs in September and October.

Best of luck to Curtis Glencross in retirement.

    • ChinookArchYYC

      Interested in hearing from you why you think he can still play? What did you see in his performance the last couple of years that makes you say that?

    • #97TRAIN

      Just trying to be objective here… I always liked Glencross but this is not shocking. He didn’t have bad stats but if you can’t make Toronto and Colorado time has past him by.
      Don’t think he had the same wheels to keep up anymore.

  • beloch

    It’s been a rough year for Glencross. It was difficult to believe how badly his play dropped off in Washington, and harder still to believe that he could go through the summer and into fall without a contract. He was a good player for the Flames during some pretty dark times. Hopefully the team will do something to honor that, such as give him a one-day retirement contract and a nice home-comming in the ‘dome.

  • Slowmo

    This is sad but he did want more money and with his play not up to the style we play now or should I say we are suppose to play he was no longer in our plans. I think he should be given an opportunity with our ECHL or AHL team as a assistant to the assistant coach I think he deserves some kind of acknowledgement from this organisation I know it was only 6 yrs but he did take a home town payment to help this team

  • Bob Cobb

    The nickname “Scoreface” he got in Calgary made no sense, always got the impression he thought he deserved more than he got without proving it, that’s why he didn’t sign in Edmonton, he was asking too much.

  • Bob Cobb

    Oiler fan here. Glencross fan too.

    Best wishes to him. I don’t believe there any sane Oiler fans that weren’t upset he wasn’t re-signed in Edmonton. In retrospect, it turned out best for everyone.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Strange beast this new NHL is,32 is a little young to retire.I’ve never been a fan of his but I am suprised he couldn’t land a spot somewhere.

    Best of luck Glenny

  • zzijian

    Great player and great person, hope he plays in Europe or something because I think he still has a lot of goals left in him. Interesting to note that he started playing in the NHL when Harper began Prime Minister and he retires the day after Harper loses the election…

  • Greg

    His play may have dropped off but he still had more to give then some guys still playing. Becoming a trend that a few players with a bit of tread still on them can’t find jobs during the offseason. Seems like the talent pool has finally caught back up after the rapid expansion era and the league could sustain another team or two.

    Best of luck to him.

  • RKD

    Well written, GlenX is a good guy and was a solid player but the game passed him by. I am surprised he retired so early because a team riddled with injuries could have looked at bringing him on or even at the deadline for a stretch run. Teams are getting younger and cheaper, they don’t want 30 plus guys with big money and long term.

  • Randaman

    Oiler fan here,

    No game day blog? You guys need better or more committed writers I guess.

    Thoughts on the game so far;

    Hrudy is and always has been a complete idiot! This we all know.

    I think you all should consider the possibility that last year was like Colorado two years ago. Numbers that will be very difficult to match. Regression is going to happen unless things turn around quickly. The second period was ugly.

    It’s not your goaltending!! Oh, am I glad you ended up with Hamilton!

    Trolling is kinda fun. See you on Halloween.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Astonishing. Six months ago, Glencross was worth a 2nd and a 3rd round pick at the trade deadline.

    Now he can’t even make the rebuilding-from-scratch Leafs, and he retires?!

    Makes Treliving look like a genius. Besides the current slump, of course.

    All the best for the future, Curtis. We wish you well.