Scott Aarssen has announced his retirement from ice hockey after completing seven seasons in the UK.
The 32-year-old defenceman ends his career after four years with Braehead Clan, a season with Sheffield Steelers and his last two with Fife Flyers.
And he paid tribute to everyone he had the pleasure of meeting during his time in the Elite League as he drew the curtain on a 16-year career.
“It’s time to say goodbye to the game that has given me so much,” he said in a social media post. “Looking back at it now, I can’t believe I was able to play this long.
“I was lucky enough to be able to play in front of my kids and that’s something I will cherish forever. I’m extremely grateful for all the opportunities and experiences hockey has given me, so I just want to say thank you.
“Thank you to all the organisations that I was lucky enough to play for, the fans, the sponsors, the training staff, the coaches and especially the teammates I’ve met along the way.
— Scott Aarssen (@saarssen6) June 12, 2020
“I’ve met so many incredible people and created lifelong memories. Special thanks to the Fife Flyers, it was an honour to play my last game wearing the blue and yellow.
“It’s been a great run but it’s time for me to officially hang them up. Although my playing days are done, hockey will always be a part of my life. I’m not sure where this next chapter will take me, but I’m excited to find out.”
Aarssen played for London Knights in the OHL before three years at the University of Western Ontario and a year in Austria with EBEL side Dornbirner before Ryan Finnerty brought him to Scotland in 2013 to sign for the Clan.
The experienced D-man helped them to a second place finish and played in the CHL for the Scottish side before leaving in 2017, where he joined Sheffield Steelers.
A season under Paul Thompson saw him reach the play-off final, where Steelers lost to Cardiff in the final and Aarssen returned to Scotland to join Clan’s rivals, Fife Flyers.
His second season in Kirkcaldy saw the club battling at the foot of the table until the coronavirus pandemic led to the league shutting down prematurely.
In all, Aarssen played over 400 games for all three clubs in his seven seasons and won three Gardiner Conferences, all with Clan.
Tributes from former team-mates have poured in since he announced the news, with former team-mate, Zack Fitzgerald, who played with him at Clan and Steelers saying: “Congratulations on your great career! Was a pleasure to play alongside you, all the best going forward!”
Another former team-mate Ben O’Connor tweeted: “All the best Scotty a lot of great memories going back to minor midget in London to here in the UK. I wish you and your family all the best for the future brother.”
Zach Sullivan, now at Manchester Storm added: “Was a pleasure playing with you mate, one of my all time favourite D Partners and teammates, good luck with your next adventure! Hockey is going to miss you!”
Fife Flyers forward Danick Gauthier posted: “Best of luck Aars, it was a pleasure playing with you.”