Prospal retires from NHL after 16 seasons

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Updated: 1/28 1:28 pm

Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Forward Vinny Prospal has retired from the NHL after 16 seasons.

Prospal, who will turn 39 next month, made the announcement Tuesday in a release issued by the NHLPA.

"I loved playing hockey, I loved scoring goals and I loved being a part of the NHL for so many years," Prospal said in a statement.

Selected by Philadelphia in the third round (71st overall) of the 1993 draft, Prospal went on to play 1,108 NHL games.

The Vancouver Canucks recently gave him an opportunity to resume his career by offering a professional tryout contract with their American Hockey League affiliate, the Utica Comets.

Prospal decided to retire instead.

"I want to thank all of the teams I have played with for having the faith in me they did," Prospal said. "I especially want to thank the Vancouver Canucks, with whom I have never played a game for, and my coach and friend, John Tortorella, for helping me have closure that would not have occurred had they not extended to me the opportunity they did last week.

"I appreciate Torts and the Canucks for their faith in me and am sorry I will not be reunited with one of the most influential people in my life in Torts as we had planned."

Prospal played seven seasons under Tortorella, the Canucks coach, first with Tampa Bay and then with the New York Rangers.

The Czech forward totaled 255 goals and 510 assists for the Flyers, Lightning, Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Florida Panthers, Anaheim Ducks and Columbus Blue Jackets.

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