Hedican retires after 17 NHL seasons

Bret Hedican, who played in more than 1,000 NHL games and was on the Stanley Cup-winning Carolina Hurricanes in 2006, announced his retirement Wednesday.

Bret Hedican, who played in more than 1,000 NHL games and was on the Stanley Cup-winning Carolina Hurricanes in 2006, announced his retirement on Wednesday.

The 39-year-old defenceman also suited up for St. Louis, Vancouver, Florida and Anaheim during his 17 NHL seasons. Last season with the Ducks, he played 51 games, recording six points.

In 1,039 career regular-season contests, Hedican had 294 points, including 55 goals. He added another 26 points (four goals) in 108 playoff games.

"I'm proud to have played this game for as long as I have and I'm leaving with no regrets," Hedican said in a statement. "I want to thank all of the general managers who believed in me, the coaches who got the best out of me and all of my teammates who made me a better hockey player."

The native of St. Paul, Minn., will likely be best remembered for his time with the Hurricanes. He was a key blue-liner on Carolina's 2006 Stanley Cup championship team, as well as the squad that reached the final in 2002.

Hedican also helped Vancouver get to the Cup final in 1994 in his first of six seasons with the Canucks. But the smooth skater said his most enjoyable years came while playing in Raleigh, N.C., where he lived with his wife, figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi.

"The one thing I really am sad about is that I didn't retire a Hurricane," Hedican, who also played for the U.S. Olympic team in 1992 and '96, told Raleigh's News and Observer. "I really wanted to. I wish it was possible to sign a one-day contract.

"I'd pay [general manager] Jimmy [Rutherford] to let me sign for a dollar and put the jersey on again."