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Tampa Bay veteran Roberts clears waivers, pondering retirement

TAMPA, Fla. - Tampa Bay Lightning veteran Gary Roberts has cleared waivers and is taking time off to ponder his future in hockey.

Roberts, who was held out of a game Tuesday against Pittsburgh as the Lightning tried to move him, was not at the rink Friday and general manager Brian Lawton reportedly has given him a few days to decide whether to retire. He was placed on waivers ahead of the NHL trade deadline on Thursday and was not claimed.

The 42-year-old left-winger retired in 1996 due to a chronic neck injury, but returned the following season. The Toronto native has played in 1,224 career NHL games, picking up 438 goals, 471 assists and 2,560 penalty minutes.

He began his career with Calgary in 1987 and won a Stanley Cup with the Flames in 1989. He moved to Carolina in 1997, then played in Toronto from 2000 to 2004 before moving on to Florida, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay.

The rugged winger, who is earning US$1.25 million plus bonuses this season, had three goals and four assists with the Lightning in only 30 games. He missed 33 games this season with an elbow injury.


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