Aaron Ward, a veteran defenseman of more than 13 NHL seasons, 17 seasons in professional hockey, and a three-time Stanley Cup winner, announced his retirement, the NHLPA announced Tuesday.
Ward underwent a third surgery on his knee after last season, and it was recently determined that he would not be ready for the start of the 2010-11 season.
The 37-year-old played in 839 career NHL games and recorded 44 goals, 107 assists and 151 points to go along with 736 penalty minutes. He spent the first five seasons of his career with the Detroit Red Wings (1996-2001), played in five seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes over two stints (2001-2006, 2009-10) and played in three seasons with the Boston Bruins (2006-2009), as well as played in one season for both the New York Rangers (2006-07) and the Anaheim Ducks (2009-10). Ward was also part of three Stanley Cup teams, winning two championships in Detroit (1997, 1998) and one in Carolina (2006).
Overall, Ward appeared in 95 playoff games over seven postseasons.
"I'm very proud to have played for as long as I did in the NHL, with and against the best players in the game," he said. "This game has left me with countless memories and relationships, especially from those Stanley Cup-winning teams in Carolina and Detroit. Thank you to my family, fans, friends and teammates for all of the great years."
The native of Windsor, Ont., Ward was a first-round draft pick (No. 5) of the Winnipeg Jets in 1991.