Claude Lemieux retires again, ending 21-year career |

Claude Lemieux retires again, ending 21-year career

FILE -- This June 26, 2009 file photo shows hockey player Claude Lemieux smiling toward his family during a naturalization ceremony at the Sandra Day O'Connor United States Courthouse in Phoenix. Lemieux has announced his retirement again, ending his 21-year NHL career. In a statement Wednesday, July 8, 2009, Lemieux thanked his former teammates and said he was fortunate to have a long career. (AP Photo/Jonathan J. Cooper)

SAN JOSE – Claude Lemieux announced his retirement again Wednesday, wrapping up a 21-year NHL career with four Stanley Cups.

The 44-year-old forward came back from a five-year retirement in December to sign with the San Jose Sharks, where he had one assist in 18 games last season.

“I want to thank my former teammates from my entire career for all of their support,” Lemieux said in a statement. “I feel very fortunate that I was able to have a career like I had.

“There have been many great NHL players who did not get the opportunities to win that I had. I played for a long time but it went by so very fast.”

Lemieux won four Stanley Cups (Montreal 1986; New Jersey 1995, 2000; Colorado 1996), one of only eight players to win the prize with three different teams.

The Canadians took Lemieux in the second round of the 1983 draft. He scored 379 goals in his career, which included a stop in Phoenix. He had 80 playoff goals and competed in 234 playoff games, fifth all-time.

Lemieux, who recently became an American citizen, was the MVP of the 1995 Stanley Cup playoffs with the Devils.

“Many people will think the main highlights of my career will be the Stanley Cups, the Conn Smythe Trophy and Canada Cup,” said Lemieux, of Buckingham, Quebec. “But to me and my family, coming back and playing in my first game in San Jose (last season) will be remembered as one the great highlights of my career.”

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