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Longtime goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere retires after 16 NHL seasons

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DENVER - The goaltender known as "Jiggy" is stepping away from the net.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere announced his retirement Thursday after 16 NHL seasons in which he won 262 games, a Conn Smythe Trophy and a Stanley Cup championship.

The Colorado Avalanche say Giguere made his decision in Quebec while with the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada hockey team. He's part owner of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League squad.

"His achievements speak for themselves, from winning the Stanley Cup to winning the Conn Smythe, Jiggy was always a top-notch goaltender," team executive Joe Sakic said in a statement. "He was also a very important part of our team during the past three seasons, providing veteran leadership and stability in net. We wish him and his family the best of luck."

Giguere served as Semyon Varlamov's backup last season in Hall of Fame goaltender Patrick Roy's first season behind the bench. The team made it back to the post-season for the first time since 2010.

What's more, Giguere took rookie Nathan MacKinnon under his wing and allowed the talented teenager to live in the family's basement all season. The two even car-pooled to games and practices.

The 37-year-old Giguere is best known for his time with the Anaheim Ducks. He led the team to two appearances in the Stanley Cup finals, capturing the Conn Smythe Trophy in defeat in 2003 and hoisting the Cup in 2007.

The Ducks fans even gave Giguere an ovation after a game in Anaheim, California, last April. He skated to centre ice that night with former teammate Teemu Selanne, their clasped hands held aloft. Selanne recently retired after a 21-season NHL career spent mostly with Anaheim.

"For (Selanne) to do that, it's something that's very special for me, and something I'll never forget," Giguere said.

Giguere was originally drafted by Hartford with the 13th overall pick 1995 and played eight games with the Whalers in 1996-97. He was the last active player to have suited up for Hartford.

A fan favourite wherever he went, Giguere also played for Calgary and Toronto.

Giguere played in 597 regular season games and faced 16,325 shots in 33,719 minutes. He finished his career with a 2.53 goals-against average and 38 shutouts.

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