09/02/2015 11:52 EDT | Updated 09/02/2016 01:12 EDT

Longtime defenceman Bryce Salvador retires from hockey after 14 NHL seasons

NEWARK, N.J. — Longtime defenceman Bryce Salvador has announced his retirement after playing 14 NHL seasons.

Salvador played 786 career games for the St. Louis Blues and New Jersey Devils, putting up 110 points while excelling as a shot-blocking, stay-at-home defender.

After struggling with an injury that caused his spatial awareness, vision and balance to be off, the 39-year-old Brandon, Man., native made the announcement he was calling it a career with a piece for the Players' Tribune.

"I achieved my goal of coming back so that my boys would be able to remember me as an NHL player, and now I am content to step away on my own terms," Salvador said in the piece. "Here I am, 786 regular season and 74 playoff games later, retiring as a captain. No matter what anybody says, they can't take this away from me."

Salvador helped the Devils reach the 2012 Stanley Cup final and served as captain for the past three seasons.

"Bryce Salvador is a first-class individual who exemplified leadership both on and off the ice," said Devils' executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero in a statement. "His selection as captain the past three seasons was most appropriate, as he was well-respected by his teammates. On behalf of the entire organization, I wish Bryce and his family well, and look forward to working with him in his new role."

With his playing career over, Salvador will work with the Devils and New Jersey Hockey organizations, saying he hopes to be an example for young players. 

"I want to pass on the lessons of perseverance, sacrifice, and determination that I was fortunate enough to have learned while playing hockey," he said in the Players' Tribune piece. "If I believe in one thing in life, it's that hockey is a force for good. It can change kids' lives and give them an outlet so that no matter what's going on with them personally, they can get on the ice for a few hours and forget about everything but that little black piece of rubber."

The Canadian Press