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Keith Primeau will reluctantly retire as an NHL player later on this week. ((H. Rumph Jr./Associated Press))

Philadelphia Flyers captain Keith Primeau will likely retire by the end of the week.

Primeau, 34, has been suffering from post-concussion syndrome since absorbing a blow to the head by Alexander Perezhogin in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens last Oct. 25.

Primeau, who hasn't shaken the effects of the hit, plans to meet Wednesday with Flyers physician Dr. Gary Dorshimer and, with training camp set to open Thursday, is expected to call it quits.

"You could read it on the wall," Primeau said Tuesday night.

Anticipating the need for a proven centre, the Flyers signed restricted free agent Ryan Kesler to a one-year, $1.9-million US offer sheet.

Kesler, a restricted free agent, spent last season with the Vancouver Canucks, who have a week to match the offer or lose him in return for a second-round draft pick.

"The obvious assumption would be that I wasn't going to be returning," Primeau said.

Primeau posted a goal and six assists for seven points in nine games prior to being injured last season, his 15th in the NHL.

The two-time all-star has totalled 266 goals and 619 points in 909 NHL games since being drafted third overall by the Detroit Red Wings in 1990.

Primeau spent three seasons with the Hartford Whalers/Carolina Hurricanes before being packaged to Philadelphia, along with a fifth-round draft pick, for Rod Brind'Amour, Jean-Marc Pelletier and a second-round selection on Jan. 23, 2000.

Assuming the captaincy from Eric Desjardins in 2001, he went on to amass 87 goals and 213 points in 312 games for the Flyers.

Peter Forsberg is a prime candidate to succeed Primeau as captain.

With files from the Associated Press