May 22, 2013, 10:45 AM EST
Veteran defenseman Andy Sutton is hanging up his skates.
Sutton, 38, announced his retirement through the National Hockey League Players’ Association on Wednesday.
“My NHL career enabled me to not only play the game I love, but to also be a part of something that so many kids dream about growing up,”Sutton said. “Throughout my 15 years in the league, I have played for some exceptional hockey teams and have met quality people and friends along the way.
“None of what I accomplished on the ice would have been possible without the unwavering support of my family, friends, teammates and fans who made playing hockey even more enjoyable.”
The towering blueliner — Sutton went 6-foot-6, 245 pounds — played in 676 games over a 15-year career with seven different clubs. He registered 1,134 hits, 1,164 blocked shots and 1,185 penalty minutes, scoring 38 goals and 112 assists for 150 points.
Sutton was in the final year of a one-year, $1.75 million deal with the Oilers in 2013, but didn’t appear in a single contest due to a knee injury.
Last November, Sutton spoke with ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun about that injury and the wear and tear his body took over the course of his career.
“I basically broke a chunk off my femur, the piece I broke off was giving me a lot of discomfort, so they went in and sort of cleaned up my knee and took out the chunk,” Sutton explained. “Now, I have to repair the defect that’s there. Otherwise, it’ll just keep getting bigger. It’s bone on bone in two spots in my knee.
“I guess the road to recovery from that is quite long and arduous so I don’t know, this is going to be my 12th surgery. I’m pretty tired of what I’ve done to my body.”
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