Gartner hangs it up

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After 19 seasons in the NHL, Mike Gartner has decided to retire. The future Hall of Famer leaves the ice with career total of 708 goals, fifth-best in the NHL history.

"The timing is right," Gartner said. "It's something I planned on doing. My oldest son is now 14 years old and is going to be a freshman in high school and my daughter is going to junior high."

Gartner ranks 18th with 1,335 points in 1,432 games for Washington, Minnesota, NY Rangers, Toronto and Phoenix. He spent the last two seasons of his career with the Coyotes.

"It turned out it was a great decision coming to Phoenix," Gartner said. "It was two great years for me and my family. I enjoyed myself. I enjoyed playing for the Coyotes. And I enjoyed staying in Phoenix."

Gartner, who'll turn 39 in October, has had a tremendous career and if he has any regrets, it would be that he never played in the Stanley Cup finals.

"Yeah, I think so. I really would have loved to have been a part of that," Gartner said. "But I wouldn't change anything. It's easy to say I would have given up this for this, but you're not allowed to do that. I still have a lot of great memories of the game. I was on two teams that won the Canada Cup, and they were two of the best teams ever assembled."

As for his future, Gartner said he has no immediate plans. He already has received television offers as a hockey analyst, which he has turned down.

"I enjoyed myself," Gartner said. "I look back on my career and I really remember all the best things sports has to offer and the friends that were made. Phoenix is obviously a very fresh memory for me and I have very good memories."

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