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Kings defenseman Regehr likely to retire from NHL

by Curtis Zupke

LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr said Saturday he will likely retire after the Kings defeated the San Jose Sharks 4-1 at Staples Center.

"Probably the last professional game I’ll play," Regehr said. "I talked to [Kings general manager] Dean [Lombardi] just after I got here [in 2013] and he asked me how long I thought I could play for. I told him I think I can give you two hard years and we’ll see … I think it’s time to move on to the next chapter in life."

Robyn Regehr
Defense - LAK
GOALS: 3 | ASST: 10 | PTS: 13
SOG: 63 | +/-: 10
Regehr, 34, played 15 seasons in the NHL as a physical, hard-hitting defenseman whose body absorbed a lot of impact over the years. He was due to become an unrestricted free agent.

"There is a lot that goes into a decision like that," Regehr said. "I’ve been thinking about it for a little while. You’ve got to think about where your body is at, how it is holding up or not holding up. There’s family decisions, and all kinds of stuff that are involved in a decision like that. It is a big decision, but I think we’ve decided."

Regehr spent his first 11 seasons with the Calgary Flames and two with the Buffalo Sabres before he was traded to Los Angeles on April 1, 2013. He helped the Kings win their second Stanley Cup last season although he was limited to eight games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

It was Regehr’s first Stanley Cup and it came after he lost Game 7 of the 2004 Stanley Cup Final when he played for Calgary and coach Darryl Sutter before the two were reunited in Los Angeles.

"To get him here and to able to win one here is awesome," Sutter said. "He’s not only a great player, he’s a great person. The best thing when we got Robyn here was that there’s a lot of young defensemen here, and if you look at their seasons, they’re going to learn a lot from Robyn Regehr. All those young players."

The decision came as a surprise to at least one of his teammates.

"He’s a year older than me," said Justin Williams, who sustained a dislocated shoulder from a hit by Regehr earlier in his career.

"But obviously there comes a time where you call it quits. He’s obviously put a lot of thought into it and he’ll be missed extremely. Looking back on his career, you can say he left it all out there all the time and he got all he got out of what he has."

Asked what he learned from Regehr, Williams joked, "I learned how to [play] him in soccer [before games]. Always be ready for a hit, too. You never know when it's coming."

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