Former Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Pavel Kubina has brought the curtain down on a career that spanned 970 NHL games.
Czech Republic-born Kubina, who also played for the Atlanta Thrashers and the Philadelphia Flyers, was part of the Lightning team that lifted the Stanley Cup in 2004.
“Making my way to the NHL and playing in the best league in the world for 13 seasons has been a dream come true,” the 36-year-old said.
“I will be forever grateful for the experiences and friendships that I have gained over the course of my career, including capturing the Stanley Cup in Tampa.”
Kubina joined the Lightninig as the 179th overall pick in the 1996 NHL Entry and enjoyed eight seasons with the Florida team before moving to Toronto in 2006.
He left the Maple Leafs in 2009 for the Thrashers, where he stayed for just one year before rejoining Tampa for two more seasons.
Kubina ended his NHL career in Philadelphia in 2012 but played on in the Swiss League for Geneve Servette. He managed just three games and has decided now is the right time to hang up his skates.
Kubina, who represented his country at three Olympic Games, finished with 110 career goals and 276 assists, while he was named an All-Star at the end of Tampa’s Stanley Cup-winning season.
Jaromir Jagr, who played with and against Kubina, had nothing but praise for his compatriot.
“He was on top of his hockey career when he won the Stanley Cup with Tampa,” said the NHL great.
“I have great memories from when we played together on the national team at the Olympics, and also the World Championship in 2005, which we won.
“It is sad that the Czech Republic is losing another great defenseman in the NHL, as he was a very experienced, quality hockey player.”