Stempniak calls it a career


Carolina Hurricanes’ Lee Stempniak (21) waits for a face off against the Ottawa Senators during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018, in Raleigh, N.C. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

TORONTO (WIVB) West Seneca native Lee Stempniak officially announced his retirement from the NHL Tuesday.

Stempniak played in 911 games in 13 seasons in the league for 10 different teams.

He was originally drafted in the fifth round of the 2003 draft by the St Louis Blues.

Stempniak tallied 469 points in his career (203 goals, 266 assists). During his career he played for St. Louis, Toronto, Phoenix, Calgary, Pittsburgh, NY Rangers, Winnipeg, New Jersey, Boston and Carolina.

Stempniak played his final NHL game for the Boston Bruins at Pittsburgh on March 10, 2019.

In a press release released by the NHLPA, Stempniak was quoted saying, “I am honored and privileged to have played in the NHL for thirteen seasons and I am extremely grateful to have lived my dream every day throughout my career. I would like to thank each and every organization, all of my coaches and the staff members for your help over the years. A special thank you to all of my teammates. I will miss our friendships, laughter and camaraderie.”

In the same press release, Sabres forward Jeff Skinner, who played with Stempniak in Carolina, said, “Congrats on an amazing career, Stemper. Thank you for everything you have taught me. You have been the ultimate professional and an unbelievable teammate and friend.”

Stempniak graduated from St Francis High School in Athol Springs and played his college hockey at Dartmouth.

Stempniak says after living in 10 cities over his career he is looking forward to settling down with his wife and three children in the Boston area.

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