SUN Hockey Pool

Lehtinen hangs 'em up

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 11:55 PM ET

FRISCO, TX - The Dallas Stars announced Wednesday that former forward Jere Lehtinen has officially decided to retire after 14 NHL seasons.

Lehtinen, a 37-year-old native of Finland, had yet to suit up for any club this season, ending 2009-10 with just four goals and 17 points and a career- worst minus-eight in 58 games.

"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," Lehtinen began in a statement.

"It's a tough decision due to the fact that you play hockey your entire life and then must decide to stop playing. 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 it started."

Drafted by the then-Minnesota North Stars in the fourth round of the 1992 NHL Draft, Lehtinen made his NHL debut for the 1995-96 season with the club relocated in Dallas.

Over 875 regular-season games, he posted 243 goals and 514 points, while contributing 27 goals and 49 points in 108 playoff tilts. The defensive specialist was a key member of the Stars' 1999 Stanley Cup triumph, notching 10 goals and 13 points in 23 postseason games that year.

He exits the game ranking eighth on the franchise list in total points, third in games played, seventh in goals, 10th in assists, third in game-winning tallies (37), sixth in playoff goals and fourth in playoff appearances.

Lehtinen was also one of only four NHL players to win at least three Selke Trophies as the league's top defensive forward (1998-99, 2003) -- joining Hall-of-Famer Bob Gainey, Guy Carbonneau and Pavel Datsyuk.


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