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Ex-Wing David Legwand retires after 16-year NHL career

Associated Press
David Legwand of the Red Wings skates for the loose puck alongside Taylor Hall of the Oilers at Joe Louis Arena in 2014.

Toronto — Former Red Wing David Legwand announced his retirement Thursday, ending a 16-year NHL career that began as the Nashville Predators’ first draft pick.

The 36-year-old Legwand had 228 goals and 390 assists in 1,136 career regular-season games with Nashville, Detroit, Ottawa and Buffalo.

He’s Nashville’s career leader in goals (210), assists (356), points (566), game-winning goals (41) and games (956). He had five goals and nine assists in 79 games last season for Buffalo.

“What a great ride this was, especially having the chance to play nearly 1,000 games for my drafting club in Nashville, and seeing the growth of the game there; to fulfilling a dream of playing for my hometown Red Wings; to experiencing the positive vibe of playing in Canada’s capital of Ottawa; and to end with the talented players of the Buffalo Sabres in my final season,” Legwand said in a statement released by the NHL Players’ Association.

The Grosse Pointe North native and former Plymouth Whaler was selected second overall by Nashville in 1998, making him the first draft pick in team history.

“Congratulations to original Nashville Predator and the team’s first-ever draft selection, David Legwand, on a 16-season NHL career and best of luck to you and your family in retirement,” Predators general manager David Poile said.

Legwand and fellow former player Derian Hatcher own the Ontario Hockey League’s Sarnia Sting.

“I have to give credit for the success in my career to others,” Legwand said.

“I had great teammates who became friends; coaches and general managers who believed in me; trainers, doctors and therapists who kept me healthy; and I received sage advice and friendship from my longtime agent Pat Morris and his staff at Newport Sports. Finally, I would like to give a special thanks to my mom and dad, sister, and my wife Lindsey and our kids Ella and Ryder, who sacrificed so much for my opportunities.”