One of the longest active careers in professional hockey is coming to an end.
Bryan Helmer, the American Hockey League’s all-time leader Calder Cup playoff games played, has announced his retirement at age 41.
Some will recognize the veteran defenseman from his 146 NHL games with Phoenix, St. Louis, Vancouver and Washington, but he’ll largely be remembered as one of the American League’s most outstanding players over the last two decades.
Helmer played 19 seasons in the AHL from 1993-2013. He ranks third all-time in games played (1,117, the most by a defenseman) and is the AHL’s all-time leader in points (564) and assists (435) by a blueliner.
Undrafted out of the OJHL, Helmer began his AHL run with Albany in 1993, winning a Calder Cup with the River Rats two years later.
In 2009 and 2010, he again captured the Calder as captain of the Hershey Bears.
Though he’s retired from pro hockey, Helmer isn’t walking away from the game entirely. This fall, he’ll join OHL Peterborough as one of head coach Jody Hull’s assistants.