Defenseman Hal Gill retires from NHL after 16 seasons

TORONTO (AP) Hal Gill, a 6-foot-7 defenseman who spent 16 seasons in the NHL and won a Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009, retired Thursday at age 40.

Gill weighed 243 pounds and was an imposing presence on the ice. He also played with Boston, Toronto, Montreal, Nashville and Philadelphia.

He announced his retirement through the NHL Players' Association. He lauded the ''great organizations'' for which he played and said he was ''lucky to have made amazing friendships throughout my career and live in so many beautiful cities.'' He also thanked his teammates for their ''camaraderie (and keeping me in line).''

Gill had 36 goals, 148 assists and 962 penalty minutes for his career. He represented the U.S. at five world championship - 2000, 2001, 2004, 2005 and 2006.

Gill was drafted by Boston in the eighth round (207th overall) in 1993 and made his NHL debut with the Bruins on Oct. 17, 1997.

After a stint in Toronto, he was traded to Pittsburgh and helped the Penguins make the Stanley Cup final in 2008 and win it all in 2009. Gill signed as a free agent with Montreal before the 2009-10 season when the Canadiens made the 2010 Eastern Conference final.

He played six regular-season games and one playoff game with Philadelphia last season. He played his final NHL season with the Philadelphia Flyers after signing in October 2013. His last game was during the 2014 playoffs.

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