Penguins defenseman Boucher retires

Penguins veteran defenseman Philippe Boucher announced his retirement Thursday, going out in style as a Stanley Cup champion.

"For the past 17 years I have been living my dream of playing hockey in the National Hockey League," Boucher, 36, said in a statement. "After finishing this season with the Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins, I realized that is time for me to walk away from the game I love. I have always admired athletes that have retired as champions and I am humbled to have the chance to count myself among them.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank my teammates, my coaches and the organizations I played with over the years. I am going to miss being with the boys. I would also like to recognize the best fans in all of sports. I never took for granted what a privilege it is to play this game and how important the fans are."

Boucher, drafted 13th overall in the 1991 NHL entry draft by Buffalo, had 94 goals and 300 points in 748 regular-season games with the Buffalo Sabres, Los Angeles Kings, Dallas Stars and Penguins.

Pierre LeBrun covers the NHL for ESPN.com.