Dallas Stars to Retire Jere Lehtinen's No. 26 Sweater Friday

Former Dallas Stars forward/right wing Jere Lehtinen will be honored Friday when the team retires his No. 26 sweater.

Lehtinen, hailing from Espoo, Finland, joined the Stars in 1995 and spent his entire 14-year NHL career in Dallas and was a member of the 1999 squad that brought the Stanley Cup to Dallas.

His sweater will be the fifth to be retired by the franchise and the third since the team moved to Texas from Minnesota in 1992. Lehtinen joins Neal Broten (No. 7), Bill Goldsworthy (No. 8), teammate Mike Modano (No. 9) and Bill Masterton (No. 19).

"It's kind of a humbling feeling to get noticed like that," Lehtinen told DallasStars.com. "It's one of the biggest things you can get as a player, individually, through hockey. I am proud."

The celebration will kick off at 5 p.m. with a walk down a "victory green" carpet in Victory Plaza at the American Airlines Center. Lehtinen and his family will be joined by Stars legends Brett Hull, Joe Nieuwendyk, Ed Belfour, Guy Carbonneau, Craig Ludwig, Neal Broten, the family of Bill Masterton, Brenden Morrow, Marty Turco, Bob Gainey, Dave Tippett, Doug Armstrong, Tom Hicks, Norm Green and other guests.

Inside the AAC, the ceremony will begin on the ice at about 6:30 p.m. and will last about 45 minutes -- leading up to the current team's game with the Calgary Flames.

Lehtinen is a three-time Frank J. Selke Trophy winner -- an award given to the NHL's top defensive forward "who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game." The winner is selected at the end of the season in a poll by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. Lehtinen became the third player in NHL history to win the trophy in consecutive years, taking home the trophy in 1998, 1999 and 2003.

During his career in Dallas, Lehtinen played in 875 regular season games where he scored 243 goals, 271 assists and 514 points. He played in 108 playoff games where he notched 27 goals, 22 assists and 49 points.

He was a member of the 1999 team that won the Stanley Cup and the 2000 team that reached the NHL finals.

In addition to his lengthy NHL resume, Lehtinen is a four-time Olympic medalist earning a silver and three bronze medals for his native Finland in five Olympic games.

For more information about Lehtinen's career, please visit DallasStars.com/Lehtinen.

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