Bourque Retires

Archived from 2001-02 season.

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Ray Bourque announced his retirement on Tuesday, ending a 22-year career that reached its' peak 17 days ago, when he hoisted the Stanley Cup for the first time.

"It took a long time, but the timing was perfect," he said. "For me, this is a pretty neat finish. It means I retire as a champion."

Bourque appeared to choke back tears several times as he announced his retirement at a news conference.

"By far the most important factors are my desire to be around my children," said Bourque, the father of three. "Frankly, I also have had a strong commitment to myself never to stay too long in the game."

Bourque leaves the ice as the highest-scoring defenseman, who won the Norris Trophy five times and played in a record 19 consecutive All-Star games.

He played for 21 seasons in Boston, but requested a trade to a contender in March 2000 in hopes of winning the Stanley Cup. He finally got it when the Colorado Avalanche beat the New Jersey Devils in Game 7 on June 9.

"It's been a wonderful, happy, terrific 22 years," Bourque said.

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