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Photo: KDP Studio

Kostopoulos to retire at season’s end

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins captain Tom Kostopoulos has announced that he will retire following the 2017-18 season, his 19th professional campaign.

“I’ve been lucky to make a living playing the game I love for the past 19 seasons,” Kostopoulos said in a statement. “I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, but I’m looking forward to spending more time with my wife, Lisa, and kids, Lily and Luc, away from the rink.”

The 39-year-old native of Mississauga, Ont., has been limited by injury to 26 games this season. He has scored four goals and added 13 assists for 17 points.

Last year was Kostopoulos’s most productive season in over a decade, as he led Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in goals (24), points (54) and games played (74). His goals and points were the most he had recorded since 2004-05, and he became just the 10th player in AHL history to have a 20-goal season at age 38 or older.

Currently in his seventh season as captain of the AHL Penguins, Kostopoulos has appeared in a total of 717 regular-season AHL games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (1999-2004, 2012-18) and the Manchester Monarchs (2004-05), totaling 210 goals and 328 assists for 538 points.

He has 185 goals, 282 assists and 467 points in a Wilkes-Barre uniform, and his 653 games as a member of the Penguins are tied for 10th-most in AHL history by any player with one team.

In addition, Kostopoulos has played 97 Calder Cup Playoff games in the AHL, recording 23 goals and 51 assists for 74 points. He also represented the Penguins at the AHL All-Star Classic in 2002 and 2015, when he served as Eastern Conference captain, and was the recipient of the AHL’s Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award in 2015-16 for sportsmanship, determination and dedication to hockey.

Originally selected by Pittsburgh in the seventh round of the 1999 NHL Draft, Kostopoulos is one of four players in hockey history with at least 600 games played in both the NHL and the AHL. He has amassed 61 goals and 96 assists for 157 points in 630 NHL contests with Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Montreal, Carolina, Calgary and New Jersey.