Former Calder Cup MVP Begin retires

The Calgary Flames have announced the retirement of forward Steve Begin.

“Steve had a career marked with great diligence and effort,” said Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke. “On behalf of the Calgary Flames organization and ownership group, I congratulate him on his 15-year NHL career and wish him success in his future endeavors.”

Begin, the winner of the Jack Butterfield Trophy as most valuable player of the 2001 Calder Cup Playoffs, played 524 NHL games with Calgary, Montreal, Dallas, Boston and Nashville, totaling 56 goals and 52 assists for 108 points.

He made his professional debut at the age of 18 during the 1997 AHL postseason with the Saint John Flames, and his gritty effort in the 2001 playoffs earned him MVP honors while the Flames captured their first championship.

A 35-year-old native of Trois-Rivieres, Que., Begin played parts of five regular seasons in the AHL with Saint John (1998-2001), Hamilton (2004-05) and Milwaukee (2010-11). He rejoined the Flames as free agent for the 2012-13 campaign after taking the prior season off due to a hip injury, and was nominated by the Calgary chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which goes to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

Begin once again attempted to continue his career with the Flames organization this season but decided on retirement after a reoccurrence of the hip injury during training camp. He was originally drafted by Calgary in the second round of the 1996 NHL Entry Draft.