Veteran NHLer Belanger calls it a career


After just a short time in Russia, Eric Belanger is retiring from professional hockey.

Belanger, 35, is calling it quits after just a handful of games with Avtomobilist of the KHL. The veteran NHL center was unable to find work in North America this fall after spending last season with Edmonton, and decided to make the jump — but felt “homesick,” according to RDS’ Francois Gagnon, and decided to retire after just seven games.

A faceoff specialist, Belanger appeared in over 800 NHL contests from 2000-12 with the Kings, Hurricanes, Thrashers, Wild, Capitals, Coyotes and Oilers.

His best season came in Phoenix during the 2010-11 campaign, when he scored a career-high 40 points in 82 games.