After a sterling 15-year career with four different teams, Paul Kariya is hanging up the skates.
After missing the entire 2010-11 season with post-concussion symptoms, Kariya announced his retirement Wednesday afternoon.
"This is a black-and-white issue," Kariya told ESPN.com. "It wasn't very difficult at all."
After leading the University of Maine to its first National Championship and winning the Hobey Baker Hat Trick as a freshman, Kariya was drafted by the Anaheim Ducks with the fourth overall pick in the 1993 NHL draft. Kariya finished his career with 989 points in 989 games.
Kariya was a two-time winner of the Lady Byng Trophy and won a gold medal in 2002 with Canada's national team.
"It was my dream to be a professional hockey player in the NHL, from my minor hockey days in North Vancouver and Burnaby, through junior hockey in Penticton, college hockey at the University of Maine, and the Canadian National Team," he said. "I would not have achieved it without support from all of these people and organizations."
Before the NHL put more priority on keeping their best players safe, Kariya was stricken with concussions, suffering his first in 1996 and another in 1998. Another of Kariya's defining moments came in 2003 when he was laid-out by Scott Stevens in the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals.
Kariya finally came to peace with the decision almost a year after Mark Lovell, one of the continent's top concussion doctors, told Kariya he had suffered brain damage from hockey.
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