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Veteran defenceman, former all-star Roman Hamrlik retires after 20 NHL seasons

Washington Capitals Roman Hamrlik, right, chats with Montreal Canadiens Travis Moen during an informal practice Tuesday, January 8, 2013 in Candiac, Que. Hamrlik announced his retirement Monday, ending a 20-year NHL career that included three all-star appearances. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

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Washington Capitals Roman Hamrlik, right, chats with Montreal Canadiens Travis Moen during an informal practice Tuesday, January 8, 2013 in Candiac, Que. Hamrlik announced his retirement Monday, ending a 20-year NHL career that included three all-star appearances. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

TORONTO - Veteran defenceman Roman Hamrlik announced his retirement Monday, ending a 20-year NHL career that included three all-star appearances.

Hamrlik was drafted first overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft. He played 1,395 regular-season games and 113 post-season games with Tampa Bay, Edmonton, the New York Islanders, Calgary, Montreal, Washington and the New York Rangers over his career.

Hamrlik, from Zlin, Czech Republic, scored 155 goals and had 483 assists for 638 points while averaging over 23 minutes in ice time per game over the course of his NHL career.

"As a kid growing up in communist Czechoslovakia, I never imagined that I would one day have the opportunity to play in the National Hockey League," Hamrlik said in an NHLPA statement. "It has been a great honour and a privilege to spend 20 seasons playing in the greatest hockey league in the world.

"I will always cherish the wonderful memories I have of my time spent in North America while playing the game I love, making sacrifices and pursuing my hockey dreams."

His best offensive year came in the 1995-'96 season, when he had 16 goals and 49 assists for the Lightning. He had a career-high rating of plus-22 with the 2006-'07 Calgary Flames.

Hamrlik had one assist and was minus-4 in 16 games last season with the Capitals and Rangers. He was an unrestricted free agent this season before retiring.

Hamrlik, who was an all-star in 1996, 1999 and 2003, represented the Czech Republic internationally and helped his country win the gold medal at the 1998 Nagano Olympics.

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