Robyn Regehr, Kings defenceman, to retire after 15 NHL seasons
Announcement made following win on Saturday
Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr said he intends to retire after a 15-year NHL career.
Regehr made his low-key announcement in Los Angeles' dressing room Saturday after the defending Stanley Cup champions' season ended with a 4-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks.
"I've been thinking about it for a little while," Regehr said. "You have to think about where your body is at, how it's holding up and not holding up. There are family decisions and all kinds of stuff that are involved with a decision like that. It's a big decision, and I think we've decided."
Regehr, who turns 35 next week, had three goals and 10 assists in 67 games this season. He has 199 career points, but has made his greatest impact as a heavy-hitting blueliner on several outstanding defensive teams in Calgary and Los Angeles.
He spent his first 11 seasons with the Flames before moving to Buffalo in a trade in 2011. He joined the Kings 2 1/2 seasons ago, immediately playing a major role on Los Angeles' standout defense.
Regehr won a Stanley Cup ring with the Kings last summer despite appearing in only the first eight playoff games. He injured his knee in the opening game of the second round and didn't return to the lineup, but remained an upbeat, positive influence in the Kings' dressing room.
Coach offers kind words
Kings coach Darryl Sutter also was Regehr's coach in Calgary for three seasons, including the Flames' run to Game 7 of the 2004 Stanley Cup finals.
"To get him here and win (a championship) here was awesome," Sutter said. "He's not only a good player. He's a great person. That's the best thing about when we got him."
The Kings apparently had an inkling Regehr was planning to retire: Center Jarret Stoll grabbed the puck after the final whistle and planned to give it to him.
Regehr, who was born in Brazil to Mennonite missionary parents before growing up in Saskatchewan, played for Canada at the 2006 Olympics and in two world championships and a World Cup of Hockey.
Void to fill on blue-line
Regehr's planned departure will leave another void on defense for the Kings, who have lost Rob Scuderi and Willie Mitchell to free agency over the past two summers. Los Angeles then played the final 76 games of this season without Slava Voynov, who has been suspended since his arrest on domestic violence charges.
Drew Doughty and Jake Muzzin logged extensive minutes on defense this season for the Kings, who missed the postseason for the first time since 2009. Veterans Alec Martinez and Matt Greene also are signed to long-term contracts, while youngsters Brayden McNabb and Jamie McBain played significant roles along with late-season trade acquisition Andrej Sekera. "There were a lot of young defensemen in here, and if you look at their seasons, they're going to learn a lot from Robyn Regehr," Sutter said. "All those young players, Robyn being their quarterback in the locker room, they're going to miss Robyn, and they have to take a step forward now."