NEW YORK – New Jersey Devils forward Bobby Holik is set to retire after 18 NHL seasons, the New York Post reported Saturday.
Holik, 38, rejoined the Devils this past season after leaving New Jersey in 2002. The six-foot-four, 230-pound winger had four goals, five assists and 66 penalty minutes in 62 regular-season games this season.
“I’m done. I’m retiring,” Holik told the Post from his home in Wyoming. “I miss being with my family every day. I knew when the season ended, but I wanted to leave and get home first, and not make a big deal of it.”
“A player is what I was. Now I’m a husband and a father.”
The winger won a pair of Stanley Cup titles in his 11 seasons with the Devils. Originally a first-round pick of the Hartford Whalers in 1989, Holik recorded three straight 60-point seasons in New Jersey before signing a US$45-million, five-year deal with the New York Rangers in 2002.
Holik had two so-so seasons with the Rangers and was bought out prior to the start of the 2005-06 season. He then joined the Atlanta Thrashers, where he spent three years – serving as captain in 2007-08 – before rejoining the Devils last off-season.
The native of Jihlava, Czech Republic had 326 goals, 421 assists and 1,423 penalty minutes in 1,314 games with the Whalers, Devils, Rangers and Thrashers. He ranks fourth all-time in games played by a European-born skater, trailing only Teppo Numminen (1,372), Mats Sundin (1,346) and Nicklas Lidstrom (1,330).