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Associated Press
8/9/2006 9:46:46 AM

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Flyers defenceman Eric Desjardins, the second-highest scoring defenceman in team history, will retire this week, a team spokesman said Wednesday.

Flyers spokesman Zack Hill said the 37-year-old Desjardins, a native of Rouyn, Que., was going to make an official announcement Thursday.

A two-time all-star, Desjardins' 17-year career was slowed by injuries in recent seasons. He played only 45 games last season and just 48 two years ago and was not offered a contract by the Flyers this summer.

Desjardins, a seven-time winner of the team's most outstanding defenceman award, had surgery last season to repair a partially dislocated right shoulder and missed 29 games. He missed the 2004 playoffs with a broken arm.

Desjardins spent the last 11 seasons with the Flyers after he was acquired from Montreal in a 1995 deal that also brought John LeClair to Philadelphia. Desjardins had 396 points with the Flyers behind only defenceman Mark Howe's 480.

Desjardins finishes his career with 136 goals, 439 assists and 575 points in 1,143 career games. He was eighth in career games played with the Flyers with 738. He won the Stanley Cup with Montreal in 1993.
 

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Flyers' Desjardins retires after 17 seasons

Sports Ticker
8/10/2006 3:29:12 PM

PHILADELPHIA (CP) - Eric Desjardins knew the time had come.

Realizing he was no longer able to play up to his standards, the Philadelphia Flyers defenceman officially announced his retirement Thursday.

After 17 seasons in the NHL, the two-time all-star from Rouyn, Que., said the decision to leave hockey was an emotional one.

"For me, it was really important to retire as a Flyer," he said in a release. "I don't feel I could be at the level that I want to be at, so that's why I decided to retire."

Desjardins' career had slowed significantly due to injuries in recent years. He played only 45 games last season and 48 in the season before the NHL lockout.

Desjardins underwent surgery last season to repair a partially dislocated right shoulder and missed 29 games. He missed the 2004 playoffs with a broken arm, marking the first time in his 17-season career where he didn't play in a Stanley Cup playoff contest.

"It's kind of a tough day, but I think it's pretty much come for me to make this decision," Desjardins said. "It was not easy and that's why I waited the whole summer to think about it."

Desjardins finishes his career with 136 goals, 439 assists and 575 points in 1,143 career games. He was eighth in career games played with the Flyers with 738. He won the Stanley Cup with Montreal in 1993.

He spent 11 seasons with the Flyers after being acquired from Montreal in a 1995 deal that also brought John LeClair and Gilbert Dionne to Philadelphia. Desjardins had 396 points with the Flyers behind only defenceman Mark Howe's 480.

"I think Eric was the perfect athlete," said Flyers general manager Bob Clarke. "His conduct off the ice was always very disciplined and classy. He always represented the team perfectly.

"On the ice, he was a gifted player who played the game clean, hard and with dignity. You wish that every player who came through your organization was like Eric Desjardins."

Flyers head coach Ken Hitchcock said Desjardins was the ultimate team performer.

"He always played up to his potential, whether at practice or in games," Hitchcock said. "He was a consummate professional. Eric had a tremendous feel for what was right and just for the team itself and was a tremendous asset to the coaching staff. He was a voice of reason inside the locker-room and a very, very competitive player on the ice."

Flyers winger Simon Gagne will always be grateful to Desjardins, who helped Gagne when he arrived in Philadelphia as a rookie. As a fellow French-Canadian, Desjardins took Gagne under his wing, helping him learn English.

"It was very helpful to have a guy like Eric Desjardins next to me for my first season," Gagne said. "After that, we were roommates on the road and became very close friends. He played a big part in helping me start my career and I am very thankful to him."

Being a leader was not something Desjardins took lightly.

"One thing that I always tried to do was take my role seriously and be ready every night on the ice and conduct myself professionally off the ice," he said.
 

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Desjardins was a very good Hockey player, and he scored some huge goals here and there (Hey, I watch classic series you know. ;) ).

He will be missed big time by the Flyers. He was steady there all his career.

I was never a fan of his, but I'll have to say that there is something about a player staying on a team for a long period of time, like he did, that makes their career kind of stand out a bit when you look back on it, especially when they retire on that team. A little something "extra special".
 
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