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Thus ends the incredibly odd NHL journey for Mike Comrie, a.k.a Mr. Hilary Duff

Greg Wyshynski
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According to Mark Spector of Sportsnet, former Edmonton Oilers center and current unrestricted free agent Mike Comrie has officially retired from the NHL, as you may have gathered from this recent photograph (he's the one on the left).

Last summer, Comrie put off the decision in the hopes that his recovery from hip surgery might lead back to the NHL.

In the end, it was delaying the inevitable, as Comrie, 31, had another hip surgery recently that made him reevaluate his career.

From TSN, a statement from Comrie:

"My career has afforded me a series of phenomenal opportunities to play and become friends with some of the greatest people I have ever known and some of the greatest players who have ever played this game," Comrie said in a statement.

"To have made the lasting friendships I enjoy today with so many of my former teammates is something that will stay with me for the rest of my life. It's the reward that has made all the hard work, the trades, the moves and the surgeries worthwhile."

Thus ends what is, without question, of the strangest NHL careers in recent memory.

Consider:

Heir to a Canadian fortune gets drafted in the third round by the Oilers in 1999. Scores 33 goals in his first full season. Chooses not to re-sign with the Oilers as a restricted free agent in 2003. The Oilers opt to trade him to the Anaheim Ducks for "prospect Corey Perry and a first-round draft pick," according to the LA Times, but GM Kevin Lowe wants Comrie to pay the Oilers $2.5 million as a condition for the trade.

Traded to the Philadelphia Flyers for a package that included a first-round pick, in a move that left everyone unhappy save for Comrie.

Traded again in 2004 to the Phoenix Coyotes for Sean Burke, Branko Radivojevic and Ben Eager. Plays in Sweden during the lockout. Traded by Phoenix to Ottawa in 2007 for Alexei Kaigorodov, who played six games in the NHL. Signs with the New York Islanders later that year.

Begins dating former Disney teen idol Hilary Duff -- spawning the immortal hockey WAGs nickname "Duffrie" -- who becomes a fixture at Islanders games, and is generally awesome about it:

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Traded to Ottawa in 2009 with Chris Campoli. Signs back with Edmonton in 2009 to cleanse that relationship. Marries Duff in Aug. 2010. Signs with the Pittsburgh Penguins to play on a line with Sidney Crosby in Sept. 2010. Things get sexy with Duff.

Becomes an oft-injured healthy scratch, and then misses the majority of the season with a bad hip. Becomes Duff's baby daddy.

Fair thee well, Mike Comrie. Lovely wife. New addition on the way. And an NHL career that, in hindsight, was a memorable one, albeit a briefer one than many imagined.

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