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Former Bolts forward Ryan Callahan announces his retirement from the NHL

"The passion and the love the community has for the Bolts is second to none," Callahan said.
Credit: AP
Tampa Bay Lightning's Ryan Callahan skates during hockey practice at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Sunday May 15, 2016.

TAMPA, Fla. — On Wednesday, former Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ryan Callahan announced his retirement from the NHL after 13 seasons.

"Reflecting on my career, it's hard to wrap my head around how lucky I am for being able to live out my childhood dream for 13 amazing years," Callahan said in a statement posted on Twitter. 

Callahan was first drafted by the New York Rangers where he served as captain for several years before being traded to the Lightning in 2014.

He played 77 games in his career with Tampa Bay, even helping them reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2015. 

Although his game play with the Lightning was limited by injuries, he reflected on his time spent with the team.

"I never knew the amount of support the Lightning had in Tampa until I got there, and wow, I was blown away," Callahan said in a tweet.

In his statement, Callahan thanks those who helped him launch the Ryan Callahan Foundation in Tampa, for children battling cancer.