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Cory Stillman retiring for Panthers front office gigDespite lingering on the market as an unrestricted free agent, Cory Stillman(notes) didn't seem like the "training camp tryout invite" type.

He seemed like the kind of player that a team might sign during the season, desperate for a seasoned pro to juice their power play or move in at forward after losing a player to injury.

Truth is, Stillman had options; but the 37-year-old veteran of 1,025 NHL regular season games has instead decided to call it a career. From Mike Davies of the Peterborough Examiner:

Stillman, 37, will officially announce his retirement at a press conference Thursday in Florida where the Panthers will introduce him as a member of their player development staff. He will work under director of player development Brian Skrudland monitoring and working with Panthers prospects from the junior ranks to the minor pros.

"They asked when I was traded (from Florida to the Carolina Hurricanes at the NHL trade deadline) to let them know when I was done playing because they'd like to have me in the organization. It's a good opportunity," Stillman told The Examiner Wednesday night.

Stillman says he had offers to return to the NHL, including from Carolina, but he felt, for a variety of reasons, the timing was right to move onto the next stage of his life.

Hurricanes fans on Canes Country gave him a 'B' for his stint last season, as Bob Wage wrote Stillman still had something left to offer offensively. But he decided to hang up the skates, due to injuries and age as well as family: Stillman has two sons that both play minor hockey. According to the paper, and to the surprise of no one, he's been invited to help out their teams in some capacity as an instructor.

After being drafted by the Calgary Flames in 1992, Stillman played for the St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Carolina Hurricanes, Ottawa Senators and Florida Panthers. He's one of only six NHL players in history to win back-to-back Stanley Cups with two different teams: Tampa Bay in 2004 and Carolina in 2006 (with a lockout in between).

Fare thee well, Cory Stillman. Remember that time you used random body parts to score a goal?

s/t Coleman Slawsky for the scoop.

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