The Los Angeles Kings’ 4-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday was bittersweet to both players and fans alike. While the win at home over their hated in-state rival was a profound pleasure for the fans, it was also the end of a long honeymoon season for the defending Stanley Cup champions that did not include a golden ticket to the playoffs.

It was also the end of defenseman Robyn Regehr’s long NHL career. The 34-year-old veteran voiced bluntly his decision to hang up the skates to the media after the season finale.

“I’m probably not going to play again,” Regehr said. “I think it’s time to move on to the next chapter in life.”

Regehr played 15 seasons for the Calgary Flames, Buffalo Sabers and the Kings, tallying 199 career points on 36 goals and 163 assists. He had three goals and 13 total points and a plus-nine rating this season in 67 games with the Kings. He reached the Stanley Cup finals with the Flames and current Kings head coach Darryl Sutter in 2004 – they lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in seven games – and won it all with the Kings in 2014.

“He’s been a Los Angeles King for not even three years, but him and I go back a long ways,” Sutter said on Regehr. “We lost a game 7 Stanley Cup with Calgary. To get him here, and win one here was awesome. He’s not only a good player, he’s a great person. That’s the best thing about when we got him.”

Regehr was born in Brazil and spent his early childhood in Indonesia before his family finally settled in Canada before his seventh birthday. When discussing the decision to retire, he mentioned the condition of his body after a decade and a half worth of playing a physical position and much-needed time spent with the family.

“There is a lot that goes into a decision like that,” Regehr said. “I have been thinking about it for a little while. You have to think about where your body is at, how it is holding up and not holding up. There are family decisions, and all kinds of stuff that are involved with a decision like that. It is a big decision and I think we have decided.”

Over the years, Regehr has been the ideal example for young players to follow both on and off the ice. As an assistant captain with the Flames in 2009, Regehr famously donated $75 to the charitable organization Impact Society for every hit he laid on an unsuspecting opponent. That type of presence and impact will surely be missed in the Kings inner circle.

“There were a lot of young defensemen here, and if you look at their seasons, they’re going to learn a lot from Robyn Regehr,” Sutter said. “All those young players, Robyn being their quarterback in the locker room, they’re going to miss Robyn and they have to take a step forward now.”

Tony Capobianco started the SMDP column “Cap Space” just in time for the 2014-15 Clippers season. You can contact him via email at capomiami@yahoo.com.

Tony Capobianco

Cap Space is a Santa Monica Daily Press column that mainly covers the Los Angeles Clippers.

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