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Lecavalier announces retirement from NHL

Center played 17 seasons, won Stanley Cup with Lightning in 2004 @NHLdotcom

Vincent Lecavalier announced his retirement after 17 NHL seasons Tuesday.

Lecavalier, 36, spent 14 seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning, serving as captain on two occasions and helping them win the Stanley Cup in 2004. He won the Rocket Richard Trophy as the League's top goal scorer with 52 in 2006-07 and the King Clancy Trophy the following year, honoring him for his contributions to growing the game of hockey in the Tampa area.

Lecavalier signed with the Philadelphia Flyers prior to the 2013-14 season. He played three seasons in Philadelphia until he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings with defenseman Luke Schenn for center Jordan Weal and a third-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft on Jan. 6, 2016.

"As I publicly announced at the time I was traded to the Los Angeles Kings, the 2015-16 season would be my last in the NHL," Lecavalier said in a statement released by the Kings. "I recently informed the Kings that I am stepping away from the game and will no longer play professional hockey. It is my desire and intention to retire.

"Hockey has provided me so much in my lifetime but requires an incredible commitment. It is now time for me to devote more time to my family."

Lecavalier scored 10 goals and had seven assists in 42 games with the Kings, centering the third line and receiving time on the power play. He had a goal and an assist in a five-game loss to the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Video: LAK@SJS: Lecavalier nets Kings' only two goals

Selected No. 1 by the Lightning in the 1998 draft, Lecavalier had 421 goals and 528 assists in 1,212 regular-season games, and 26 goals and 30 assists in 75 playoff games. He won a gold medal representing Canada at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, and also played for his country at the 2006 Torino Olympics.

"I want to take this opportunity to thank the people who have helped me along the way and shared this journey with me," Lecavalier said. "First and foremost, I would like to thank my parents, my wife, Caroline, my brother Philippe, sister Genevieve and my entire family. I could not have accomplished anything without your love and support. 

"Thank you to the Tampa Bay Lightning for drafting me and providing me the opportunity to embark on my NHL career. I will never forget winning the Cup together in 2004, and the incredible support from Lightning fans. To the L.A. Kings, thank you for providing me the opportunity to finish my career on a positive note. To the coaches who have developed me and challenged me -- you made me a better player and person. To my agent, Kent Hughes, thank you for all your efforts and support throughout my career.

"Hockey is the greatest team sport in the world. There is nothing like sharing a locker room with your teammates and competing together day in and day out. I have made lifelong friends and I'd like to thank them for making this an unforgettable journey. Thank you."

Video: Vincent Lecavalier Announces Retirement

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