VOORHEES, N.J. (AP) -Philadelphia Flyers right wing Sami Kapanen retired from the NHL on Tuesday and plans to return to Finland and play for a team he owns there.
The 34-year-old Kapanen spent the last five seasons with the Flyers and tallied five goals and three assists in 74 games last season. He added two goals in 16 postseason games as the Flyers went to the Eastern Conference finals.
Kapanen, a native of Vantaa, Finland, is a part-owner of KalPa Kuopio, the team he plans to play for next season. Kapanen got his start with KalPa in 1989.
``It's time to move on,'' Kapanen said at a news conference. ``The plan is to play (in Finland) hopefully a couple more years, obviously depending on my health.''
Kapanen said the injuries he has struggled with in recent seasons and his decreased playing time led to his decision to return home. He hopes to play at least one more full season of hockey before retiring from the sport.
``I don't want to leave the game on terms of disappointment and bitterness,'' he said. ``I want to go out having fun and playing the way I grew up playing hockey.''
A two-time All-Star, Kapanen had 458 points (189 goals, 269 assists) in his 12-year career with the Flyers and the Hartford Whalers-Carolina Hurricanes. Hartford drafted him in the fourth round of the 1995 entry draft.
``I know he wants to continue to play and I think it's great he wants to play in Finland,'' Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said. ``I think it's important for these guys to play as long as they can.''
Kapanen is a three-time Olympian, playing for Finland in the 1994, 1998 and 2002 games.

Top NHL Public Bets

NHL Top Stories

Thumbnail Rangers vs. Sharks Prediction The San Jose Sharks and New York Rangers could both use a win when they meet up on the ice tonight at 10:30PM...
Thumbnail Predators vs. Islanders Pick Can the Nashville Predators pick up an important road win when they take on the New York Islanders tonight at...
Thumbnail Wild vs. Red Wings Prediction Are the Red Wings a good bet to beat the Wild today at 12:30PM ET when they host Minnesota in one of their final home games?
Thumbnail Blackhawks vs. Panthers Prediction Are the Blackhawks a good bet to beat the Panthers tonight when the two clash at 7:00PM ET?
Thumbnail Stars vs. Sharks Prediction Will the Dallas Stars pull off the upset tonight as a home underdog versus the San Jose Sharks at 8:30PM ET?

NHL Team Pages