Pascal Dupuis forced to retire at age 36 due to medical condition

DENVER -- Pascal Dupuis' hockey career is over. The Pittsburgh Penguins forward retired Tuesday because of a medical condition related to the blood clots that forced the 36-year-old to sit out most of the past season.

Dupuis returned this fall and had two goals and two assists in 18 games, but he was forced to leave several games early, including a win at San Jose on Dec. 1.

"We've been talking about it for a little while," Dupuis said, according to the team's website. "When I left the San Jose game after the second period, it made it more clear in my head that it was something that was weighing on me, my wife, my kids, the team and my teammates.

"I had a little bit of chest pain that I had to get checked. Nothing was there, but going through all the testing, radiation, CAT Scan, I don't feel like I should have my body go through this again."

He said he broke the news to his teammates Tuesday morning.

"It made it emotional for me," he said, according to the team's website. "The guys on the bench and in the locker room were obviously concerned with how I was feeling. I don't want to be a distraction."

Asked what Dupuis meant to him, an emotional Sidney Crosby said, "I don't think I can get through it."

"We're going to miss him a lot. He's a great guy, great teammate. I know he'll have a hard time staying away from the rink, so hopefully we'll see lots of him," he said, according to the team's website.

Pittsburgh team physician Dr. Dharmesh Vyas said the risk Dupuis took by playing was "not in the best interest of his long-term health."

Dupuis ends his career with 190 goals and 219 assists in 871 games for Pittsburgh, the Minnesota Wild, the Atlanta Thrashers (now the Winnipeg Jets) and the New York Rangers. He won a Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2009.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.