NHL referee Marcus Vinnerborg announced his retirement today, explaining that he and his family have decided to move back to their native country of Sweden.

“Two years ago I was given the opportunity by the NHL to live my dream of officiating professional hockey in North America. My family supported me and thoroughly enjoyed their experience living here,” said Vinnerborg. “It was a difficult choice, but we have decided as a family to move back to Sweden. I would like to thank Terry Gregson and the NHL for the incredible experience. I return to Europe a more educated official having had the opportunity to work with all of my colleagues and supervisors at the NHL.”

The first European-trained NHL official, Vinnerborg’s premier assignment saw the Dallas Stars play host to the Anaheim Ducks at American Airlines Center on Nov. 16, 2010. He refereed 40 total NHL games, calling his final contest on April 1, 2012, when the Ducks faced the Edmonton Oilers at Honda Center.

Vinnerborg also refereed 119 American Hockey League games, the last of which was Game 3 of the 2012 Calder Cup Finals between the Norfolk Admirals and Toronto Marlies on June 7, 2012. He began his officiating career in 1987 in his hometown of Ljungby, Sweden, calling minor hockey games before eventually moving up to the Swedish Elite League in 2000. He went on to work four World Championships as well as the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

“I’d like to thank Marcus for his service and willingness to come to North America,” said Terry Gregson, NHL Senior Vice President and Director of Officiating. “We wish him and his family the best as they return to Sweden.”