NEW YORK (Reuters) - Veteran right wing Brendan Shanahan, a member of three Stanley Cup championship teams, said on Thursday that he would not be play this season with the New Jersey Devils.
Shanahan, 40, said the decision was reached mutually and amicably with the Devils, who he joined late last season, and that he would be evaluating his plans for the future.
“I have decided not to continue with the New Jersey Devils for my 22nd NHL season,” Shanahan said in a statement.
“When I signed this past summer... I agreed that if we were unable to find a suitable fit in which I would be able to compete and contribute at the level I expect from myself, then I would simply step aside.”
Shanahan re-signed with the team this summer after joining them last January, scoring six goals and eight assists in 34 games as they captured the 2008-09 Atlantic Division title.
Team president Lou Lamoriello said the emergence of younger players was a factor, noting the development of prospects such as Niclas Bergfors and Matt Halischuk would have left a diminished role for Shanahan.
Shanahan, 11th on the NHL list in goals (656) and 23rd in career points (1,354), began his career with the Devils after being taken as the number two overall pick in the 1987 draft.
He hoisted the Stanley Cup three times as a member of the Detroit Red Wings and also played for the Hartford Whalers, St Louis Blues and New York Rangers.
“Certain players have to play, they have to grow,” Lamoriello said. “And there’s only way for that to happen, and that’s for them to be in the lineup.”
The Devils open the regular season at home against Philadelphia on Saturday.
Writing by Larry Fine, Editing by Justin Palmer