Jamal Mayers saw his name engraved on the Stanley Cup at the Chicago Blackhawks’ ring ceremony in October and again when they visited White House in early November. It was a shiny reminder of what ended up being his final NHL season, and how it couldn’t have ended any better.

“It allowed me closure,” said Mayers, who officially announced his retirement on Friday. “Chasing something since you were five years old, it’s pretty crazy to have it come true.”

Mayers officially called it a day on Friday, wrapping up a 14-year NHL career that culminated with his hoisting that Cup in June. For Mayers, who was a vocal leader for the Blackhawks during their Cup run, Friday was a chance to look back at everything: from his finish with the Blackhawks to his long tenure with the St. Blues, and the years of hard work that led to the NHL.

“No one would’ve believed I’d play in the NHL as long as I have when I was 12, 13, 14 years old,” he said. “Coming from a single-parent home to living in the city and not having much. It’s just proof-positive that it’s possible and it’s really remarkable, and I feel very lucky.”

During last season’s lockout, Mayers was a big part of the NHLPA’s side of the negotiations. He was in the room when the PA and league finally came to an agreement in the wee morning hours of Jan. 6. Mayers appreciated being part of the process, not just for the final outcome but also in helping younger players work through it all.