NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Kevin Klein left his mark on New York hockey.

The veteran defenseman, who played parts of 12 seasons for the Nashville Predators and Rangers, announced his retirement from the NHL on Friday.

“Thank you to the fans of both cities for their appreciation,” Klein, 32, said. “I couldn’t have been happier to play in front of you. I’ll miss all the friends I’ve made along the way from the staff to the guys I played with. … I am looking forward to many great years with my extended family. Again Thank You.”

Klein, who, according to reports, may try to continue playing elsewhere, debuted in Nashville during the 2005-06 season and was a steady presence on the Predators’ blue line right up until he was traded to the Rangers on Jan. 22, 2014. With New York, Klein had 22 goals, 50 assists, and a plus-49 rating in 224 regular season games. He also played a role in helping the Rangers to the 2014 Stanley Cup Final, registering four points and a plus-7 rating in 25 postseason games.

The right-handed defenseman, who was selected in the second round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, played in just 60 games during the 2016-17 season due to back problems. He appeared in just one playoff game.

In all, Klein finished his NHL career with 38 goals and 116 assists in 627 regular season games, and added 19 points in 73 playoff games.

His retirement allows the Rangers to save $2.9 million against the 2017-18 salary cap.

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