Islanders Frans Nielsen emotional goodbye to hockey

Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Islanders - Game Three
Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Islanders - Game Three / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The New York Islanders haven't seen Frans Nielsen in a blue and orange jersey in years. His last game with the team was back in May of 2016, some seven years ago. That's when the Isles were eliminated in five games by the Tampa Bay Lightning. (It's always the Tampa Bay Lightning.)

Playing with the Islanders for ten years - they drafted him in the third round of the 2002 draft - Frans saw his stock grow with the fans to a point where his legacy would never truly be forgotten.

New York Islanders Frans Nielsen emotional goodbye to hockey

On Tuesday, Nielsen officially played his last game. After winning the German league and then the German playoffs with the Berlin Polar Bears, it was announced that Frans would hang up his skates at the club level.

But he'd keep going at the international level with Denmark in the World Championships in Finland. He'd retire from hockey after that tournament.

With a 7-1 loss to Slovakia on the final day of Group A round-robin play, Frans had officially played his final game. Interviewed after the game, the emotions of the moment were visible on his face and in his voice:

The Isles faithful loved the Danish swiss-army-knife "I'll do anything just play me" player. He just did everything well. Even the shootout! There are only two players who have more career shootout goals than Frans Nielsen; Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. That's it.

He played tough defensive minutes at 5on5 and on the PK and he was a solid producer for the team. Frans did what he needed to and never complained.

It's always tough to see these guys retire. Playing this game is all they know, not playing is such a massive change.

Congrats to Frans on a career that spanned some 22 years and five different leagues and over 100 games for the Danish national team. It's been a hell of a career for the man from Herning.