|Friday, August 2
Updated: August 5, 11:00 AM ET
Ferraro will join ESPN as hockey broadcaster
ST. LOUIS -- Center Ray Ferraro, who overcame his small stature to become a star in the NHL, retired Friday after 18 seasons to join ESPN as a hockey broadcaster.
Ferraro, who was an unrestricted free agent, ended last season with St. Louis after Atlanta traded him in March to give him a chance to finish his career with a playoff team.
The 37-year-old Ferraro, drafted in 1982 by the Hartford Whalers as a 5-foot-9, 165-pound prospect, scored 408 goals and had 490 assists in 1,258 career games with six NHL teams.
Ferraro had at least 50 points in nine seasons, his best coming with the New York Islanders in 1991-92, when he scored 40 goals and had 40 assists. He also scored 41 goals for Hartford in 1988-89.
Ferraro was having the worst season of his career with only eight goals when he was acquired by St. Louis. Blues general manager Larry Pleau was Hartford's GM when the Whalers -- now the Carolina Hurricanes -- first gave Ferraro a chance in the NHL. Ferraro played seven seasons with Hartford.
In 15 games with the Blues, Ferraro had six goals and four assists despite playing the end of last season with a torn knee ligament. He also had three assists in 10 playoff games.
In 76 games last season with the Blues and Thrashers, Ferraro had 14 goals and 23 assists.
"When he first came into the pros, when he was drafted, everyone thought he was too small,'' Pleau said Friday. "He proved everyone wrong, and he earned his way in this league.''
Messages left with Ferraro and agent Steve Bartlett were not immediately returned Friday.
Ferraro also played for the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings. Before joining the Blues, Ferraro had missed the playoffs during the previous three seasons -- twice with the Thrashers, once with the Kings -- and worked as an analyst for ESPN's playoff coverage.