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Brad Richards announces retirement after 15 seasons

Center won Stanley Cup with Lightning, Blackhawks @NHLdotcom

Center Brad Richards announced his retirement from the NHL on Wednesday after a 15-season career.

Richards, 36, had 298 goals and 634 assists in 1,126 regular-season games, and 105 points in 146 Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Dallas Stars, New York Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the postseason in 2004 when he helped the Lightning win the Stanley Cup, scoring 26 points (including seven game-winning goals) in 23 games. Richards won the Stanley Cup again with Chicago in 2015.

He had 10 goals and 18 assists in 68 games with the Red Wings last season.

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: Congratulations on an amazing 15 year career #Brad! #LGRW

"I want to thank the fans and the five organizations I have played for: Tampa Bay, Dallas, and the three Original Six teams, the New York Rangers, Chicago and Detroit," Richards said in a statement released by the NHL Players' Association. "During my time with those teams, I met many great people. I also want to thank the staff and management in those organizations for all the help and support they gave me. I appreciate all the trainers who did tireless work to help me play and keep me healthy. I had many amazing teammates and made many great friendships along the way that I truly appreciate, and I will never forget the great times we had together.

"Thank you to all my coaches for pushing, teaching and giving me the opportunity to play this great game. Winning the Stanley Cups in Tampa Bay and Chicago was the best part of my career and I will never forget those moments. Nothing compares to enjoying that night with your team and knowing what you have accomplished together."

Born in Murray Harbour, Prince Edward Island, Richards was selected in the third round (No. 64) by the Lightning in the 1998 NHL Draft. He was a runner-up for the Calder Trophy after scoring 21 goals with 41 assists in his rookie season of 2000-01. He averaged 73 points over his first six NHL seasons.

Tweet from @TBLightning: Stick taps on an incredible career, @BRichards_1991. Always a Bolt ������

Richards represented Canada at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey and the 2006 Torino Olympics.

"Most importantly, I want to thank my mom (Delite) and dad (Glen) and my sister (Paige) for being behind me since I was a young child," Richards said. "And of course, my wife, Rechelle and son, Luca, now for making this decision easier because I will be able to spend more time with them."

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