By Scott Linesburgh
The Stockton Record
STOCKTON, Calif. — Jake Moreland has decided it’s time to put away his goalie mask and move on.
Moreland, the first player signed in Thunder history, has announced he plans to retire. Moreland played during the Thunder’s inaugural season (2005-06) and said if he were to play on, he would want it to be in Stockton.
But at this point, he’s hanging up the skates. Moreland has had a series of injuries the past few years but said the main reasons for his decision was to spend more time with his expanding family.
“It got tougher and tougher to be on the road, and this is what’s best for my family,” Moreland said.
Moreland, 28, signed with the Thunder on July 29, 2005. He was named the team’s most valuable player and became a fan favorite, but he signed to play in Denmark last season. He left Europe, joined the Rockford (Ill.) IceHogs and helped them win the United Hockey League title.
Moreland, wife Nicole, and 2 1/2-year-old son, Tyler live in St. Louis Park, Minn., where he works as a claims inspector for a construction company.
“Stockton was my favorite place to play,” Moreland said. “It was because of the people.”