Statement from Jere Lehtinen:
“First of all, I wanted to thank Joe Nieuwendyk and the Stars organization for giving me some time to come to this decision. They respected the fact that I wanted to be 100 percent sure prior to making this announcement, and I appreciated that.
It’s a tough decision due to the fact that you play hockey your entire life and then must decide to stop playing. However, I choose to focus on all the great times I had playing over the past 15 seasons, understanding that I am very fortunate to have played all those years with one organization. The memories I have playing in Dallas will never be forgotten and I will always be proud of the fact that I finished my career where I started it.
There are so many people that have positively influenced my career, including the entire Dallas Stars organization, the coaches, the players, the trainers, the fans and most importantly, my family. To all of those people I want to say thank you. Everybody that touched my career in some facet, whether small or large, had an impact on me and I will always remember that. Thank you.”
Lehtinen, 37, played 14 seasons in the NHL (1995-2010), all with the Dallas Stars. He appeared in 875 regular season games for Dallas, scoring 243 goals and 271 assists for 514 points with 210 penalty minutes. Lehtinen also played in 108 playoff games for the Stars, tallying 27 goals and 22 assists for 49 points and 12 penalty minutes. He won the Stanley Cup with Dallas in 1999, assisting on Brett Hull’s Cup-clinching goal in Game Six at Buffalo.Lehtinen among Stars’ all-time franchise leaders:
Other notable accomplishments:
- Ranks 8th in franchise history in all-time scoring (514 pts.).
- Ranks 3rd in franchise history in games played (875).
- Ranks 7th in franchise history in goal scoring (243).
- Ranks 10th in assists (271).
- Ranks 1st in +/- (+176)
- Ranks 3rd in game-winning goals (37).
- Ranks 4th in playoff games (108).
- Ranks 6th in playoff goals (27).
- Won Selke Trophy (Best Defensive Forward) three times (’98, ’99, ’03) – One of only four players in NHL history to win three-or-more (also Bob Gainey, 4, Guy Carbonneau, 3, and Pavel Datsyuk, 3).
- Was nominated for the Selke Trophy six times.
- Led the Stars in goal scoring in three seasons:
- ‘06-07: 26 goals
- ‘05-06: 33 goals
- ‘02-03: 31 Goals
- Remains the only Finnish player in history to win both a Stanley Cup (1999) and a gold medal at the World Championships (1995).
- Played in five Winter Olympic tournaments for Finland (1994- bronze; 1998- bronze; 2002; 2006 – silver, 2010 - bronze).
- All-time among Finnish players in NHL:
- 5th in Goals with 243 (1 behind EsaTikkanen).
- 7th in Points with 514.
- 8th in games played with 875.
- 10th in Assists with 271.
- 2nd in plus/minus at +176 (behind only Jari Kurri, +282).
- 4th in Power Play goals with 77.
- 6th in game-winning goals with 37.
- 3rd in playoff games with 108.
- 4th in playoff points with 49.
- 4th in goals with 27.
- Tied for eighth in assists with 22.
- Chosen to play in the NHL All-Star Game twice (1998, 2002 – did not play due to injury).
- Notched seven 20-goal seasons over his career, only Mike Modano (16) and Brian Bellows (10) have more in team history.
- Career +/- at +176 ranks 67th all-time in NHL history.