Defenseman is all-time American-born scorer

Updated: January 17, 2004, 9:04 AM ET
Associated Press

ST. MARY'S POINT, Minn. -- Phil Housley, the highest-scoring American-born player in NHL history, retired Friday after failing to sign with a team this season.

The 39-year-old defenseman had 1,232 points on 338 goals and 894 assists in 1,495 games in 21 seasons with Buffalo, Winnipeg, St. Louis, Calgary, New Jersey, Washington, Chicago and Toronto.

The former South St. Paul High School star had hoped to finish his career with the hometown Minnesota Wild.

"They're going in the direction they think is best for the organization, and I respect that," Housley said. "The longer I waited, the less I wanted to play again, and the more I was seeing how much fun I'm having with my family right now."

Housley, who jumped straight from high school to the NHL with the Sabres, helped the United States win the silver medal in the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.

"I was able to score the winning goal against Russia. I haven't had a bigger thrill in hockey than that," Housley said.

He made his last appearance for the United States last year in the world hockey championships.

"USA Hockey congratulates Phil Housley on his retirement following one of the greatest careers by an American in the history of the sport," USA Hockey executive director Doug Palazzari said. "He was an outstanding player and became a pioneer in U.S. hockey history by making the transition from high school to the National Hockey League."

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press