By Carter Brooks
Photo by Monika Majer
Longtime Atlanta Thrasher-turned Winnipeg Jet Jim Slater has officially called it quits on his professional hockey playing career.
On Tuesday, Slater, 36, announced his retirement from hockey following a 10-year NHL career, a Team USA Olympic appearance in 2018, as well as four seasons of professional hockey in Switzerland for Geneve-Servette HC and HC Fribourg-Gotteron. Slater jointly announced that following the conclusion of his player career he will return to his alma mater Michigan State University and serve as a volunteer assistant coach for the 2019-20 hockey season.
“We are thrilled to have Jim Slater join the program as a volunteer assistant,” said Spartans head coach Danton Cole in a press release. “Jim is coming off an extensive pro career that included 10 years in the NHL, as well significant international competition, including the 2018 Olympics. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that makes him an asset for our program. Our players are excited to be able to work with him every day.”
Following a 592-game NHL career that saw Slater collect 67 goals, 138 points and 409 penalty minutes, the mobile centreman moved overseas and began play with Geneve-Servette. Over a span of 188 Swiss League games, the former Winnipeg Jet racked up 52 goals, 120 points and 307 penalty minutes, serving in a leadership role while producing in a similar manner to that of his college days (2001-05) with the Spartans.
“The (MSU) program has been a huge part of my life and to be able to come back and be a part of it again is great,” Slater said. “I am really looking forward to learning from Danton and the rest of the coaching staff; it’s going to be a different experience, but one that I’m looking forward to pursuing.”
The former Hobey Baker Award finalist (2003-04) moved to Winnipeg with his Thrashers teammates in 2011, suiting up in 217 games for the Jets, tallying 20 goals, 38 points and 127 penalty minutes, while serving as a key part of the 'GST Line'.