Antoine Vermette, 36, retires after 14-season NHL career

Free-agent center Antoine Vermette, a Stanley Cup champion with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2015, announced his retirement on Thursday via the NHL Players' Association, ending his 14-season NHL career.

Vermette, 36, played the past two seasons with the Anaheim Ducks but had not appeared in a game this term.

He played in 1,046 regular-season NHL games, scoring 515 points (228 goals, 287 assists), and earned a reputation as a durable, two-way forward whose reliability in the faceoff circle (56.6 win percentage) resulted in the 14th-most faceoff wins (8,948) in NHL history.

"As a child, I dreamed of having a chance to play in the best league in the world of my favourite sport. What a privilege! I am immensely grateful for all these incredible years punctuated by memorable moments that I will cherish forever," said Vermette in a statement.

"For me, hockey has been an outstanding vehicle for teaching the right values such as perseverance, discipline and respect."

A native of Saint-Agapit, Quebec, Vermette was selected 55th overall by the Ottawa Senators in the second round of the 2000 NHL Draft and made his NHL debut with the team in the 2003-04 season. He also had stints with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes as well as the Blackhawks.

He was traded to Chicago in February 2015 and played an integral role in helping the Blackhawks lift their third Stanley Cup in six seasons by scoring three game-winning goals as part of seven points that postseason - highlighted by two decisive efforts in the Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Vermette reached the 500-point mark and 1,000-game milestone last season. His final NHL appearance came on April 14, 2018, in his 97th postseason game.

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