Jaroslav Spacek: Defenseman Retires After 13 NHL Seasons

Chris BlanchardContributor IIINovember 19, 2012

OTTAWA, CANADA - NOVEMBER 4: Jaroslav Spacek #6 of the Montreal Canadiens skates with the puck against the Ottawa Senators during an NHL game at Scotiabank Place on November 4, 2011 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  Montreal won 2-1. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images

Defenseman Jaroslav Spacek has announced his retirement after thirteen seasons in the National Hockey League.

Despite receiving interest from the Philadelphia Flyers, Spacek opted not to return, pointing to his family and recurring back issues as reasons, according to isport.cz (h/t The Examiner).

Spacek finished his career with the Carolina Hurricanes after being traded by the Montreal Canadiens last December. He became a free agent at the end of last season and, as a result of the lockout, has elected not to seek a new team. 

The defenseman played for seven NHL teams, making his debut for the Florida Panthers in 1998. After leaving Florida in 2006, he spent time with the Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens and Carolina Hurricanes. 

He twice represented the Czech Republic at the Winter Olympics. He won gold at the 1998 Nagano Games, and took bronze eight years later in Torino. 

Spacek played 880 career games and compiled a respectable total of 355 points. 

The 38-year-old is the first casualty of a lockout that threatens to shorten the careers of many older players.