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Shanahan retires from NHL after 21 seasons

NHL.com @NHL

NEW YORK (AP) -Brendan Shanahan is retiring from the NHL after 21 seasons and an almost certain Hall of Fame career.

The 40-year-old forward announced Tuesday that he wouldn't play again. After going through training camp with the New Jersey Devils, the team he spent his final season with, he and the club mutually parted unexpectedly shortly before opening night of the season.

"I would like to thank my family and all of the friends who have helped me achieve and maintain my childhood dream of playing in the National Hockey League," Shanahan said in a statement released by the NHL. "While I always dreamed of playing in the NHL, I can't honestly say that I would have ever imagined that I'd be this fortunate and blessed. I would like to sincerely thank everyone who has helped me fulfill this dream."

Shanahan, who scored 656 career goals, decided to leave the Devils in October one day after he was told there was no spot for him on New Jersey's top three lines.

He has not played this season.

Shanahan ranks 11th on the league's career goals list and is the only player with 600 goals and 2,000 penalty minutes. The eight-time All-Star also played for Hartford, Detroit and the New York Rangers.

The left winger rejoined the Devils last season after the Rangers declined to offer him a deal to return to New York for a third year. Shanahan went back to New Jersey, the team that selected him with the No. 2 pick in the 1987 draft, and agreed to a deal in mid-January.

He played his first game on Jan. 19 and scored in his debut at Nashville. Shanahan had six goals in 34 games last season, and added a goal and two assists in the Devils' first-round, seven-game playoff loss to Carolina. Shanahan signed a new $1 million contract with New Jersey during the offseason.

Shanahan was a member of three Stanley Cup championship teams - all with the Red Wings - and recorded 1,354 points and 2,489 penalty minutes in 1,524 NHL games.

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