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Kassian retires after 12-year NHL career

Codie McLachlan / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Zack Kassian announced his retirement after a 12-year NHL career Thursday.

"To play in the NHL is one thing, but to make a 12-year career of it is pretty special," Kassian said in a statement. "From coaches to equipment staff and fellow players I've met along the way, I've made so many relationships that are going to last a lifetime."

Kassian, 32, was released from a professional tryout with the Anaheim Ducks earlier in October. He was an unrestricted free agent after being bought out by the Arizona Coyotes this summer.

A standout in junior hockey with the OHL's Peterborough Petes, Kassian was drafted 13th overall in 2009 by the Buffalo Sabres. He played 27 games with the Sabres in 2011-12 before being traded to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Cody Hodgson prior to the deadline.

Kassian played parts of four seasons in Vancouver, racking up 32 goals and 59 points in 171 games. He was traded to the Montreal Canadiens in 2015 but was flipped to the Edmonton Oilers before suiting up for the Habs.

The Windsor, Ontario, native spent seven years with the Oilers, which became his most notable stint in the league. He scored 55 goals and 135 points in 412 with Edmonton, reaching a career-high 15 goals and 34 points in 59 contests during the 2019-2020 campaign while featuring alongside Connor McDavid.

Kassian was dealt to the Arizona Coyotes at the 2022 draft along with second- and third-round draft picks in order for Edmonton to clear cap space. Edmonton also moved back from 29th overall to 32nd in the transaction.

In what ultimately became his final NHL campaign, Kassian tallied two goals and no assists in 51 games last season with the Coyotes before being bought out of the final year of his contract during the summer.

Kassian totaled 661 games across 12 seasons, accruing 92 goals, 203 points, and an impressive 913 penalty minutes. From his debut season in 2011-12 through to his last campaign in 2022-23, Kassian ranked ninth in the entire league in PIMs.

He made the postseason on six occasions - twice with Vancouver and four times with Edmonton - recording 45 Stanley Cup playoff games and nine postseason points.

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