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Longtime NHLer Martin Hanzal retires

Glenn James / National Hockey League / Getty

Former Arizona Coyotes forward Martin Hanzal's career has come to an end.

"It's a little bit of a relief because the last couple of years I wasn’t sure if I'd play another NHL game or be healthy again so now it's official: I am retired from the NHL," Hanzal told NHL Network's Craig Morgan. "If I was healthy, I would probably still be playing, but after three back surgeries and especially after the last one, I just can't do it anymore. I was doing everything I could after this last one and it took me a year to get back on the ice."

Hanzal sat out this past season while rehabbing in Europe and was limited to only seven games with the Dallas Stars in 2018-19. He played only 38 with the club in the previous campaign.

"When I went to see the doctor again, it was either do another surgery or be done playing," Hanzal added. "Even the doctor said, 'We're not sure another surgery will help.' I still have a long life ahead of me. I don't want to do another surgery when it's not 100 percent sure it will even help."

Hanzal collected 127 goals and 338 points in 673 career contests. The 33-year-old spent nearly 10 of his 12 NHL seasons with the Coyotes, and he also appeared in 20 games for the Minnesota Wild in 2016-17.

The Czech center notched the fastest hat trick in team history (20:27) while playing for Arizona against the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2008. It was the first three-goal game of his career.

The Coyotes drafted him 17th overall in 2005.

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