Veteran Canadian women's hockey star Danielle Goyette is walking away from the game for good.
Goyette, who will turn 42 on Jan. 30, announced her retirement on Wednesday, ending a brilliant career during which she won Olympic gold medals in 2002 and 2006, and eight world championships.
She was also one of Canada's most prolific forwards, with 113 goals and 105 assists in 171 career games with the Canadian national team.
"I can look back at many fond memories over the 16 years that I played on the team and it will be difficult in some ways to not be on the ice anymore with that group," Goyette said Wednesday in a news release.
"But I'm also excited to take a step forward in my career and have complete focus on coaching."
Despite her retirement as a player, Goyette will remain involved in hockey. She is head coach of the University of Calgary women's team and served as one of Canada's assistant coaches at the inaugural world women's under-18 hockey championship earlier this month.
Goyette, from St-Nazaire, Que., was named Canada's flag bearer for the opening ceremonies of the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy.
She is also considered a future candidate for the International Ice Hockey Hall of Fame.
"Danielle Goyette has been and will continue to be a great ambassador for the women's game, not only in Canada, but throughout the world," said Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson.
"Danielle is one of the most well-known players in women's hockey. We commend her for all that she has given to the national women's team program and wish her all the best in coaching."
Goyette cited the demands of full-time coaching with those of playing for the national team as her reason for retiring.
"For me, I have too much respect for that program and if I can't train 11 months a year the way I did it before, I don't think I deserve to be on that team," Goyette said last week at the under-18 championship. "I'm not going to lie to myself. I'm getting older.
"I want to make a difference on that team. I will never go on the national team and just be happy to be there. If I can't make a difference anymore, why stay?"