Lightning captain Taylor won’t play before retiring after the season

TAMPA, Fla. – Lightning captain Tim Taylor won’t play a final game for Tampa Bay before retiring after the regular season ends.

The 39-year old Taylor, who has missed the entire season after undergoing off-season hip surgery, has recently been practising with team. Lightning coach John Tortorella had talked with Taylor about returning for one contest at home

“I’m not coming back” Taylor said during a question-and-answer session with fans before Saturday night’s game against Carolina. “I want to remember the good times. I want to remember playing hockey. I don’t want Torts to send me out to play two shifts and I’ll stand around.”

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Taylor has 73 goals and 94 assists in 746 career games. The two-time Stanley Cup winner provided key leadership when Tampa Bay won its only NHL championship in 2004.

Two potential replacements for team captain next season are Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis.

“I think Vinny will be the next captain,” Taylor said. “He’s taken some great strides in the locker room.”

Taylor plans to remain with the organization, spending most of his time working with prospects and minor leaguers.