Los Angeles Kings forward Vincent Lecavalier announced his retirement from the NHL after 17 seasons.
Lecavalier, 36, had two years remaining on his contract with an annual salary cap hit of $2.25 million.
He released a statement via the team on Monday:
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. 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.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the people who have helped me along the way and shared this journey with me. 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 LA 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
Lecavalier spent 14 seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning, the franchise that selected him No. 1 overall in the 1998 NHL Draft, where he won the Stanley Cup in 2003-04. He also played three seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers before closing his career in Los Angeles.