San Jose, CA (Sports Network) - Claude Lemieux announced Wednesday his retirement from hockey.
The 43-year-old made a brief return to the NHL this past season, playing 18 games for the San Jose Sharks and tallying one assist and 21 penalty minutes. It was his first NHL action since 2002-03, when he split the season between Phoenix and Dallas.
Once considered one of the biggest pests in the NHL, Lemieux was part of four Stanley Cup-winning teams: the 1986 Canadiens, 1995 and 2000 Devils, and 1996 Avalanche. In 234 career playoff games (fifth-most all-time), he has posted 80 goals and 78 assists, and won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the 1995 Cup playoffs while with New Jersey.
"I want to thank my former teammates from my entire career for all of their support," Lemieux said. "I feel very fortunate that I was able to have a career like I had. There have been many great NHL players who did not get the opportunities to win that I had. I played for a long time but it went by so very fast."
In 1,215 career regular-season games with Montreal, New Jersey, Colorado, Phoenix, Dallas and San Jose, Lemieux has accumulated 379 goals, 407 assists and 1,777 penalty minutes.