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Breaking: 14-year NHL veteran Vermette hangs up the skates

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Antoine Vermette has announced his retirement from the National Hockey League after 14 seasons, split between five teams. 

Vermette was selected 55th overall by the Ottawa Senators in the second round of the 2000 NHL Draft and made his big-league debut with the club Oct. 9, 2003.

He spent five seasons with the Senators before he was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets, where he evolved with the the club for two seasons. After playing in all 82 regular-season games in each of his two full seasons with the Jackets, Vermette was traded to the Phoenix Coyotes, leading the team in postseason scoring with 10 points en route for their first Western Conference Final appearance. He was then moved to the Chicago Blackhawks - and it turned out to be the most successful move of his career. He helped Chicago lift their third Stanley Cup in six seasons by scoring three game-winning goals as part of seven points that postseason.

That summer, Vermette returned to the Coyotes as a free agent. In 2016-17, he signed with the Anaheim Ducks as a free agent, and reached the 500-point mark in his second season with the Ducks. 

Vermette became the 313th skater to play in 1,000 NHL games on Nov. 15 2017 at Honda Center. Vermette’s final NHL appearance (April 14, 2018) was his 97th postseason game.

A Stanley Cup champion with the 2014-15 Chicago Blackhawks, Vermette played in 1,046 regular-season NHL games while scoring 515 points (228-287–515) over his career. 

STATEMENT FROM ANTOINE VERMETTE:

As a child, I dreamed of having a chance to play in the best league in the world of my favorite sport. After 15 years in the NHL, here I am, officially announcing my retirement from professional hockey. What a privilege! I am immensely grateful for all these incredible years punctuated by memorable moments that I will cherish forever. For me, hockey has been an outstanding vehicle for teaching the right values such as perseverance, discipline and respect.

I would like to outline the importance of the people who believed in me in the organizations of Ottawa, Columbus, Arizona/Phoenix, Chicago and Anaheim for making this unforgettable journey possible. I wish to thank my agent, all of my coaches and assistant coaches, the support staff of the teams that I had a chance to play for and the others that I crossed paths with around the league. I want to thank my fitness trainer, my special summer training group in Quebec City and the members of the media. Also, I want to thank the fans who by their support, contributed to making my dream a reality. It was from their passion that we experienced some magical moments together. 

It was a privilege sharing my daily life with teammates, to forging friendships that will endure well beyond the victories and defeats. All the players that I had the good fortune to play with enriched my life in a way that is not quantifiable. Thank you "Les Boys"!

On a personal level, I feel privileged to have been able to count on the support and unwavering love of the people around me. To my family, my parents, my sister, my wife, my children and my friends by their understanding and thoughtfulness, allowed me in an exceptional way to pursue my dream. There have been tremendous sacrifices made along the way by these caring, devoted and inspiring people. I am eternally grateful.

It is with great enthusiasm that I look towards the future and feel a profound joy to finally be able to spend more time with my loved ones, my wife and my kids.

Thank you for these beautiful years.
 

Antoine