Brian Leetch retires from NHL

NEW YORK, May 24 (UPI) -- Two-time Norris Trophy winner Brian Leetch is retiring, ending an 18-year career in the National Hockey League.

Leetch played for the New York Rangers for more than 16 seasons and is the team record-holder for goals, assists and points by a defenseman. He scored 247 goals and was credited with 781 assists over 1,205 games.


Leetch, a 39-year-old native of Corpus Christi, Texas, was drafted by Rangers in 1986 and made his NHL debut on Feb. 29, 1988. He played with New York until he was traded to Toronto prior to the 2004-05 season, which was canceled. He signed with Boston and played one season. He didn't play this past year.

"I have been fortunate to be an NHL player since 1988," said Leetch in a statement released Thursday. "I missed being in the NHL this past season but believe it was the right time for me to stop playing."

Leetch won the Norris Trophy, given to the top defenseman in the NHL, in 1992 and 1997. He was voted the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff most valuable player in the Rangers' Stanley Cup championship run in 1994.

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