"I'm done. I'm retiring," the 18-year NHL veteran told the New York Post on Friday from his home in Wyoming. "I miss being with my family every day. I knew when the season ended, but I wanted to leave and get home first, and not make a big deal of it.
"A player is what I was. Now I'm a husband and a father."
Holik, 38, played this season with the New Jersey Devils, the team with which he spent most of his career. He was a member of the Devils' Stanley Cup winners in 1995 and 2000.
The Hartford Whalers selected Holik with the 10th pick in the 1989 Entry Draft. He spent two seasons with the Whale before being traded to New Jersey, where he played the next 10 seasons.
In 2002, Holik signed a free-agent contract with the New York Rangers and played two seasons in the Big Apple before being bought out. He played with Atlanta for three seasons and was captain of the Thrashers before returning to New Jersey last summer.
He played 1,314 regular-season games, scoring 328 goals and adding 421 for 747 points with 1,423 penalty minutes and a plus-115 rating. In 11 seasons with the Devils, he was 202-270-472, with 883 penalty minutes and a plus-134-rating.
"What I enjoyed was being a hockey player, more than anything," he said. Being a professional hockey player is the best life anyone can have."
But he says it's time to move on.
''The No. 1 reason I'm retiring is to be with my family and see my daughter,'' he told The Post. ''That's too much to give up again. The No. 2 reason is that I don't have to retire, so I'm very fortunate.
''It feels right, and every day it feels more right.''