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TSN.ca Staff
1/4/2007 2:22:51 PM


Mike Ricci has left the Phoenix Coyotes to consider his future with the team and hockey in general.

The 35-year old, who is one game shy of playing in his 1,100th regular season contest, has been a healthy scratch in seven straight games. He got permission from the team to fly back to Phoenix on Wednesday to discuss his future with his family.

"I think it's gotten to the point where he really needs to address whether he wants to be an in-and-out player with Phoenix," his agent, Anton Thun, tells the Arizona Republic.

Ricci has been battling back from a neck injury suffered in the off-season which caused him to miss all of training camp and the first 20 games of the season.

"(It) was a serious neck injury and he's not a spring chicken anymore," Thun tells the newspaper. "He has a young family and I think one of the things he strongly has to consider and is considering is whether continuing to play and trying to play through this injury is the appropriate thing for him to do rather than just acknowledge that the injury is something that may be limiting his ability to perform at the highest level."

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