Forward Erik Cole announced his retirement from the NHL Wednesday.
Cole, who hasn't played in the NHL since 2014-15, signed a one-day contract to retire with the Carolina Hurricanes. Following the announcement, Hurricanes president Don Waddell named Cole team ambassador.
Cole sustained a spinal contusion March 24, 2015, playing for the Detroit Red Wings against the Arizona Coyotes. That was his final NHL game.
"I spent my first summer when I got back here from Detroit trying to prove doctors wrong. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to this time around," the 38-year-old said. "It wasn't the first time in my career I've been told to retire. For the first year, I sulked a little too much about it. I was a little lost and frustrated about not being able to play. But eventually I started getting on the ice with my son and his hockey team and I started finding more important things to do."
Cole had 363 points (168 goals, 195 assists) in 557 games in nine seasons with the Hurricanes. He scored 59 points (30 goals, 29 assists) in 60 games in 2005-06 and played two Stanley Cup Playoff games during Carolina's run to its only Stanley Cup championship.
Cole finished his NHL career with 532 points (265 goals, 267 assists) in 892 games in 13 seasons for the Hurricanes, Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens, Dallas Stars and Detroit Red Wings.
The Hurricanes selected Cole in the third round (No. 71) of the 1998 NHL Draft.
Cole said he and Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis discussed him returning to play for Carolina but it did not work out.
"We had talked pretty openly about the fact that it was pretty disappointing to me, how I really wanted to come back here and do some one-year contracts as long as it worked for me and it worked for them," Cole said. "[I wanted] to help out and teach what I've learned from so many great veterans that I played with here when I was young."
NHL.com correspondent Kurt Dusterberg contributed to this report