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Former Star Lehtinen announces retirement

Wednesday, 12.08.2010 / 5:06 PM / News

NHL.com

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Former Star Lehtinen announces retirement
Jere Lehtinen, who spent all 14 of his NHL seasons with the Dallas Stars, officially announced his retirement Wednesday.
Jere Lehtinen, who spent all 14 of his NHL seasons with the Dallas Stars, officially announced his retirement Wednesday.

Lehtinen had 243 goals and 514 points in 875 games. He was a two-time 30-goal scorer and seven times had at least 20. He's seventh in franchise history in goals and eighth in points.

However, Lehtinen will be remembered more as one of the preeminent defensive forwards of his generation. He won three Selke trophies (1998, 1999, 2003), and is one of four players in NHL history to win the award at least three times.

Lehtinen also was a major contributor to the Stars' run to the 1999 Stanley Cup. He was tied for second on the team with 10 goals, including 3 game-winning goals, and had a plus-7 rating.

"It's a tough decision due to the fact that you play hockey your entire life and then must decide to stop playing," Lehtinen said in a statement released by the team. "However, I choose to focus on all the great times I had playing over the past 15 seasons, understanding that I am very fortunate to have played all those years with one organization. The memories I have playing in Dallas will never be forgotten and I will always be proud of the fact that I finished my career where I started it."

Lehtinen played just 58 games last season, due mostly to persistent groin injuries, and he had just 4 goals and 17 points. He was not offered a contract by the Stars when he became a free agent on July 1.

A native of Espoo, Finland, Lehtinen is the only player in NHL history with a Stanley Cup and a World Championship gold medal, which he won in 1995. He also played in five Olympics for his home country, winning bronze medals in 1994, 1998 and 2010, and silver in 2006.

"He's a Selke Trophy winner and never cheated ... never took a night off," Stars forward Brenden Morrow told NHL.com. "He's a great example for not only young guys, but veterans too. Just a good, honest player in the games he played.

"He was a huge part of the team and a big reason there's a Stanley Cup in Dallas."
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