Peca announces retirement after 13 NHL seasons

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Michael Peca, a member of the Canadian hockey team that snapped a 50-year gold medal drought at the 2002 Winter Olympics, retired from the NHL on Tuesday after 13 seasons.

The 35-year-old forward last played for the Columbus Blue Jackets during the 2008-09 season and finished his career with 465 points in 864 NHL games.

"Today, I can honestly say that I am able to walk away from the game as a player knowing that I always left everything I had on the ice," Peca, who was an unrestricted free agent, said in a statement.

"I appreciate everything hockey has given me, and I hope that I earned the respect of my great team mates and opponents by playing the only way I knew how to."

Peca also played for Vancouver, Buffalo, New York Islanders, Edmonton and Toronto. He reached the Stanley Cup final with Buffalo in 1999 and Edmonton in 2006, losing each time.

Peca also won the Frank J. Selke Trophy, awarded to the league's top defensive forward, in 1997 and 2002.

(Writing by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Justin Palmer)