Peca retires from NHL

Michael Peca, a two-time Selke Trophy winner as top defensive forward, retired from the NHL on Tuesday.

Michael Peca is retiring from hockey.

The 35-year-old announced Tuesday that he's calling it quits after 13 seasons in the NHL.

Peca spent last season with the Columbus Blue Jackets and was unsigned this year.

"I truly have enjoyed my entire career as an NHL player," Peca said in a statement.

"Playing the game at the highest level — with and against the top hockey players in the world — has been a pleasure. Throughout my 13-season career, I was fortunate to play on some exceptional hockey teams."

Peca won gold with Team Canada at the 2002 Olympics and was part of two Stanley Cup finalists — the 1999 Buffalo Sabres and 2006 Edmonton Oilers.

His career also included stops in Vancouver, Long Island and Toronto.

Peca was a two-time winner of the Selke Trophy as the NHL's top defensive forward with the Sabres in 1996-97 and the Islanders in 2001-02.

He reached the 20-goal plateau four times — three with Buffalo, where scored a career-best 27 in 1998-99.

Peca had 176 goals and 465 points in 864 NHL games.

"Today, I can honestly say that I am able to walk away from the game as a player knowing that I always left everything I had on the ice," he said. "I appreciate everything hockey has given me and I hope that I earned the respect of my great teammates and opponents by playing the only way I knew how to."

Michael and his wife, Kristin, will continue to reside in the Buffalo suburb Getzville, N.Y., with their two children.

With files from CBC Sports