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Former Flyers forward Jeff Carter announces retirement from NHL

(Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

After an illustrious 19-season career in the National Hockey League, former Philadelphia Flyers forward Jeff Carter has announced his retirement.

Carter declared Wednesday’s game with the Penguins against the Islanders his last, ready to focus on his family and life away from the rink.

“I’m going to be a dad. You miss a lot being a hockey player,” said Carter. “You’re in and out in a way. My family sacrificed a lot for me to live out my dream. I’m going to be home and be a dad and then figure it out from there.”

The Penguins and Islanders both saluted Carter after his final game and he was named third star of the game after scoring a goal in the contest as well.

The veteran of 1,321 regular season games began his career as a first-round pick of the Flyers in the 2003 NHL Draft, being selected 11th overall by Bobby Clarke and his regime.

Carter began his professional career with the Philadelphia Phantoms, appearing in 12 postseason games in 2004. After spending the lockout season with the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, Carter returned to the Phantoms for their 2005 Calder Cup run and led the club in goals (12) and points (23) as the franchise secured their second AHL championship.

Carter made his Flyers and NHL debut on October 5th, 2005 against the New York Rangers and later scored his first goal on October 27th, 2005 against Roberto Luongo and the Florida Panthers.

Carter helped form a dangerous forward core in his prime years with the Flyers with Mike Richards, Simon Gagné, and Daniel Brière. He led the team in goals on three occasions (2009, 2010, 2011) and made five appearances in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in six seasons with Philadelphia.

Carter’s personal-best season came in 2008-09, which saw him rack up career-highs in goals (46), assists (38), and points (84). That remains the last time a Flyer has scored at least 40 goals in a season.

In 2010, Carter again led the team in goals, with 33, and helped Philadelphia reach the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1997.

The London, Ontario native appeared in just 12 of the Flyers’ postseason games after breaking his foot in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against New Jersey after being struck by a Chris Pronger shot.

He returned for the Flyers’ final two games against Montréal in the Eastern Conference Finals before playing in all six games of the Stanley Cup Final against Chicago.

Carter spent one more season in Philadelphia before the blockbuster trade that saw him head to Columbus for Jakub Voráček, a 2011 first-round pick (Sean Couturier) and a 2011 third-round pick (Nick Cousins).

During his time with the Flyers, Carter appeared in 461 games and scored 181 goals, leading all players in Orange and Black across his six-season tenure in Philadelphia.

Carter lasted 39 games with the Blue Jackets before being traded to Los Angeles. In his first year with the Kings, Carter won his first Stanley Cup as they defeated the Devils in six games for the first championship in franchise history. Fellow former Flyers Mike Richards, Justin Williams, and Simon Gagné were also on the team.

Carter helped the Kings win another Stanley Cup in 2014 against the New York Rangers and played with the team until 2021, when he was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins. No other King scored as many goals as Carter during his tenure in Los Angeles, as he racked up 194 to Anže Kopitar’s 187.

The 39-year-old spent his final three-plus seasons with the Penguins, wrapping up 2023-24 with 15 points in 72 games before hanging up the skates.

Carter ends his NHL career with 442 goals and 409 assists for 851 points in 1,321 games. He also recorded 47 goals and 37 assists for 84 points in 133 Stanley Cup Playoff contests to accompany his two Stanley Cup championships.

Managing Editor at Flyers Nation. Proud lifelong supporter of the Philadelphia Flyers and all things hockey related. Steve Mason's #1 fan.

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