With a Stanley Cup championship finally under his belt, Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Philippe Boucher has decided that the time is right to step away from the game.
The veteran of 17 NHL seasons announced his retirement on Thursday, and ended a career that began when he was a first-round pick of the Buffalo Sabres (13th overall) in 1991.
"I have always admired athletes that have retired as champions and I am humbled to have the chance to count myself among them," said Boucher. "I would like to take this opportunity to thank my teammates, my coaches and the organizations I played with over the years. I am going to miss being with the boys."
The 36-year old native of Ste-Apollinaire, Quebec finishes with exactly 300 points (94 goals, 206 assists). His best season was with the Dallas Stars in 2006-07, when he had 19 goals, 32 assists, and represented the Western Conference at the All-Star Game.
He spent the majority of his career with the Los Angeles Kings (1994-2002), before signing as an unrestricted free agent with the Stars prior to the 2002-03 season.
He joined the Penguins midway through last season when he was acquired from Dallas in a trade for defenceman Darryl Sydor.
"I would also like to recognize the best fans in all of sports. I never took for granted what a privilege it is to play this game and how important the fans are," added Boucher.