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Jaroslav Spacek retires

13-year veteran defenseman Jaroslav Spacek retired from professional hockey on Monday.

Richard Wolowicz

NHL veteran Jaroslav Spacek announced his retirement on Monday, according to The Fourth Period. Spacek's desire to spend more time with family, as well as nagging back issues, were the main reasons for the decision.

The Philadelphia Flyers had interest in signing the 38-year-old defenseman, according to However, Spacek opted to retire instead, ending a career that spanned 13 years and 880 games.

Spacek, who was drafted in the fifth round of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, played for the Florida Panthers, Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Edmonton Oilers, Buffalo Sabres, Montreal Canadiens and Carolina Hurricanes. The journeyman racked up 82 goals and 273 assists, while spending 618 minutes in the penalty box.

There was a "good chance" that Spacek would have played if not for the NHL lockout, says Sabres beat reporter Bill Hoppe. However, due to the ongoing work stoppage, Spacek may be only the first in a long line of players forced into retirement, if the last lockout is any indication.

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