PLAY-OFF winning assistant captain Steven Goertzen has confirmed his retirement from Blaze and professional ice hockey with immediate effect.
The 30-year-old joined Blaze at the start of last season having enjoyed two years previously with Elite League rivals Sheffield Steelers, where he also tasted play-off glory.
Goertzen also made 68 appearances in the National Hockey League (NHL) for Columbus, Phoenix Coyotes and Carolina Hurricanes, registering two goals and two assists, and also featured more than 450 times in regular-season and play-off games in the American Hockey League.
He spent one season in the Czech Republic with BK Mlada Boleslav in 2011/12 prior to joining Steelers, for whom he totalled 92 points (35 goals and 57 assists) in 109 regular-season and play-off matches.
Goertzen brings his 15-year career on the ice to an end as a play-off champion after a fine season at the Skydome and Blaze director of hockey operations, James Pease, believes his impact will be remembered by all.
He said: “Steven was a real pro on and off the ice always leading by example.
“When we went through a tough patch Steven stepped in to take charge and helped us get back on track prior to Chuck arriving.
“We would have loved him to come back this season, however he has a young family and with the birth of his third child and a good job opportunity back in Canada he felt it was time to move on from a fantastic hockey career and we wish him and his wonderful family every success for the future.”