Martin Rucinsky announces retirement from professional hockey
Petr Josek / REUTERS

One of the greatest Czech forwards ever to play the game is hanging up his skates.

Martin Rucinksy has announced his retirement from professional hockey at age 44, according to the IIHF.

Drafted 20th overall by the Edmonton Oilers in 1991, Rucinsky appeared in 961 career NHL games, recording 241 goals and 371 assists.

Rucinsky hit his single-season career highs in goals (28) and points (60) as a member of the Montreal Canadiens from 1995-97 after being acquired from the Colorado Avalanche as part of the Patrick Roy trade.

Rucinsky's greatest success, however, came on the international stage. Appearing in three Olympic Games, he won a gold medal in 1998 (Nagano) and a bronze in 2006 (Turin). He also played in five World Championships, winning three times with the Czechs, in 1999, 2001, and 2005.

All told, he scored 25 goals in 93 international games.

He last appeared in the NHL as a member of the St. Louis Blues in 1997-98, and finished out his paying days with HC Litvinov in the Czech Republic.

Rucinsky was playing at a high enough level to warrant consideration for one last appearance at the World Championships last spring, but an injury kept him off the ice on home soil.

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Martin Rucinsky announces retirement from professional hockey
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