There is speculation in Croatia that Ontario Hockey League grad Alan Letang may have played his last game of professional hockey when his Medvescak Zagreb were eliminated from the KHL post season. Letang holds dual Canada / Croatia citizenship and in 2013 took on the job as General Manager of the country’s national team.
Alan Letang – OHL and North America Pro
Letang is most likely the last active player that followed the Cornwall Royals franchise through Newmarket to Sarnia. He played four years in the OHL from 1991-92 to 1994-95. His first year was with the Royals in Cornwall while his second and third years were spent with the Newmarket Royals. He moved with the franchise to Sarnia for the inaugural 1994-95 season as the Sarnia Sting. Originally, he was a second round pick by Cornwall at the 1991 OHL Priority Selection, 20th overall.
At the 1993 NHL Entry Draft, Alan was taken in the eighth round by the Montreal Canadiens, 203rd overall. He never played for the Habs but spent two years in the AHL with their farm team, the Fredericton Canadiens. In his first year, 1995-96, he was teammates with future NHLers Darcy Tucker and Craig Rivet.
Alan played 14 games in the National Hockey League between 1999-00 and 2002-03. In 1999-00, he played in eight games with the Dallas Stars. Two years later, he appeared in two games with the Calgary Flames. In 2002-03, Letang was called up to the New York Islanders for four games.
After a stint in Europe and with the Canadian National Team, Letang returned to North America for the latter half of the 1998-99 season. Over the next few years, he played in the IHL, NHL and AHL before heading to Germany for the 2004-05 NHL lockout. He never returned.
Alan Letang – Europe
Letang got his first taste of Euro hockey in 1997-98. He played for three different teams that season, including ESV Kaufbeuren of Germany’s DEL, Langnau of Switzerland’s National League A and Augsberger Panther of the DEL.
After permanently moving to Europe for the 2004-05 season, Alan spent his first four years in the DEL with the Hamburg Freezers and Nurnberg Ice Tigers. He made the move to Austria’s EBEL for the 2008-09 season and switched to Medvescak Zagreb the following year. Zagreb competed in the EBEL until the end of the 2012-13 season before moving into the KHL for 2013-14. During his entire duration with Zagreb, Letang has been the team’s captain.
Letang took over as General Manager of the Croatian National Team for the 2013 IIHF World Championships in the Division 2A. Croatia hosted and went undefeated and finished first in the six team tournament that included Belgium, Iceland, Australia, Serbia and Spain. As a result, Croatia was promoted and will compete in Division 1B at the 2014 Worlds.
Interestingly, Croatia was led by another Ontario Hockey League grad and another former member of the Sarnia Sting. John Hecimovic led the tournament with six goals and 12 points over the five games. John played with the Sarnia Sting from 2000-01 until a trade midway through 2004-05 sent him to the Mississauga IceDogs. Hecimovic played with Letang with Zagreb in 2009-10 and 2010-11. He did not play in 2013-14.