Forward Steve Begin announced his retirement from the NHL on Thursday.
Referencing a doctor's visit, Begin said via Twitter, "This news sadly puts an end to my hockey career. Yes, for the first time I will listen to my body."
A veteran of 524 NHL games with five teams, Begin, 35, played 36 games with the Calgary Flames last season. He was their nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which goes to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
"Steve had a career marked with great diligence and effort," Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke said in a statement. "On behalf of the Calgary Flames organization and ownership group, I congratulate him on his 15-year NHL career and wish him success in his future endeavors."
He signed a one-year contract with the Abbottsford Heat of the American Hockey League this summer but did not play a game this season after a reoccurrence of a hip injury during training camp. He also did not play during the 2011-12 season.
"It was a hard decision to make and everyone that knows me well will know that it's with tears that I'm writing this Tweet," he wrote. "I'm really proud of my career and all that I accomplished. Proud because I gave all I had with all my heart and honesty until the end."