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Former NHL defenseman Redden announces retirement

<p>Wade Redden, who patrolled NHL blue lines from 1996 to 2013, announced his retirement on Thursday.</p>

Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Wade Redden, who patrolled NHL blue lines from 1996 to 2013, announced his retirement on Thursday.

"I would first and foremost like to thank my family and friends for their unconditional love and support. I would also like to thank my teammates, coaches and staff for all the great memories created throughout the years," Redden said in a statement issued through the NHLPA. "To the fans, I appreciate all your support throughout my career. Playing in the National Hockey League has been a dream come true and I feel very proud and privileged to have played more than 1,000 games in 14 NHL seasons."

The 36-year-old split the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign between St. Louis and Boston, picking up three goals and seven points in 29 games.

A former second-overall selection by the New York Islanders in the 1995 draft, Redden made his NHL debut in October of 1996 with the Senators.

He spent 11 seasons in Ottawa, then signed a $39 million, six-year free-agent contract with the New York Rangers in July of 2008 -- only to be waived and sent to the minors two seasons later in the wake of poor play, and then bought out his contract under a new provision in the current CBA prior to the start of last season.

All told, the native of Saskatchewan produced 109 goals and 457 points in 1,023 regular-season tilts, adding 13 goals and 36 assists over 106 playoff appearances.

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