Minnesota Wild center Wes Walz announced his retirement as expected Saturday, ending his 13-year NHL career as the team’s career leader in games played.
Walz had one goal and three assists in 11 games this season before leaving the team to contemplate his future.
Neither he nor the Wild offered any specifics about his leave of absence, which lasted a month, but Walz said at a news conference Saturday that he didn’t feel like he was “on top of his game.”
The 37-year-old has four children and said he’s eager to spend more time with his family.
The fast, defensive-oriented skater was one of only two remaining original members of the Wild’s first team in 2000. Goalie Marian Gaborik is the other.
Walz finished his NHL career – which included time with Boston, Philadelphia, Calgary and Detroit – with 109 goals and 151 assists in 607 games.