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Ales Hemsky retires, after spending majority of career with Edmonton Oilers

Edmonton Oilers' Alex Hemsky, right, from the Czech Republic, celebrates his goal as Calgary Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff, from Finland, lies in the crease during first period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2010.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh.
Edmonton Oilers' Alex Hemsky, right, from the Czech Republic, celebrates his goal as Calgary Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff, from Finland, lies in the crease during first period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2010.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Former Edmonton Oilers forward Ales Hemsky has retired.

Hemsky, 36, hadn’t played since October of 2017 with the Montreal Canadiens.

He was drafted 13th overall by the Oilers in 2001. After making his NHL debut in the 2002/03 season, he quickly became one of the Oilers’ top offensive players. He had 77 points in the 2005/06 season and 71 points in 2007/08.

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After playing 652 games for the Oilers, he was traded to Ottawa in March of 2014. He also played for Dallas.

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Hemsky was a key member of the Oilers 2006 playoff run. He had 17 points in 24 post-season games. On May 1, 2006, he scored two goals late in the third period to lift the Oilers to a series-clinching 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings.

“There wasn’t a more important player for me during my whole tenure as coach of the Oilers than Ales. He might not be alone at the top but I don’t see anyone above him,” said Craig MacTavish, Edmonton’s former head coach. “He didn’t always like the day to day rigors of playing an 82-game schedule but when the game was on the line he was at his best. Great player that made a HUGE impact on our team.”

For his career, Hemsky racked up 572 points in 845 games.