NHL veteran Alex Steen has announced his retirement from the NHL after 15 seasons. The club made the announcement Thursday as Steen is retiring due to back injuries. The 36-year-old has spent the past 12 seasons in St. Louis, tallying 496 points in 765 games with the Blues. Steen was a part of St. Louis’ 2019 Stanley Cup victory, the first in Blues’ history. Steen was originally drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. Steen would play four seasons with Toronto before being traded to St. Louis for Carlo Colaiacovo and Lee Stempniak. Over his entire NHL career, Steen played in over 1000 games, finishing with a 0.61 PPG. According to the team, Steen is dealing with “multiple levels of degenerative herniated discs of his lumbar spine.” Steen spoke with the Blues’ organization about the decision to retire. “This has been an emotional process,” Steen told stlouisblues.com. “But as I look back on my years in hockey, I would like to thank our organization, our city, our fans, and my teammates as I am so proud of all the teams I was part of.” Steen suffered the injury during the 2019-2020 campaign. He briefly played inside the NHL bubble during the round robin and only played one game during the playoffs against the Vancouver Canucks. Vancouver would eliminate St. Louis in 6 games. The longtime Blue has several career accolades with the organization. He ranks fourth in games played (765), fifth in points (496), sixth in assists (301), and ninth in goals (195). Steen was born in Winnipeg, Canada but has dual citizenship in Sweden. On the international stage, Steen has represented Sweden at the U18 and U20 World Juniors. He also represented Sweden at the Olympics, capturing a Silver Medal in 2014. Twice, Steen has been named Swedish Junior Hockey Player of the Year and won the NHL’s Best Swedish Player in 2014 as well. He was entering the final season of his contract, which carried a $5.75 million cap hit on the four-year, $23 million deal he signed with the organization in 2016. Steen is the son of popular Winnipeg Jets’ star Thomas Steen, who scored over 800 points in his NHL career. There has been no announcement yet as to Steen’s plans, but it’s evident that he will be missed among the St. Louis fans and the NHL fan base. Social media was buzzing after Steen’s announcement. The veteran player was well-respected in the NHL and his retirement is not easy to process for fans of the team. Steen was considered a leader in the locker room, despite never being named Captain. However, Steen was a longtime Assistant Captain for the Blues. In 2014 and 2015, Steen picked up a career-high in points in back-to-back seasons, scoring 62 and 64 points respectively.