Dorsett finds ‘peace’ with NHL retirement
Derek Dorsett never backed down from a challenge. But when confronted with the possibility of not being able to hug his two sons, Dorsett knew he made the right decision to step away from playing hockey.
The Vancouver Canucks rightwinger announced last week he was ending his NHL hockey career due to health concerns following neck surgery last season.
Dorsett said there have been “some hard days” over the last week as he comes to grips with his decision, but spending time with his wife and family have helped him reconcile with his situation.
“My boys have made it a lot easier going home and being able to hug them and play with them,” Dorsett told the media Wednesday.
“In the long-term aspect, your health is everything. That’s why I now have peace with it. I’m making the right decision to step away and look after myself. It wouldn’t be fair to me or my kids if I couldn’t be healthy enough to enjoy what this next chapter of my life is going to bring.”
The 30-year-old Kindersley, Sask., native played just 14 games last season before having surgery to repair a disc degeneration in his neck. The procedure left both his arms numb for a period of time and there were suggestions his playing days might be over then.
Dorsett returned to the Canucks this season and in 20 games scored seven goals and collected two assists. His career-high goals in a season is 12.
His last game with the Canucks was Nov. 18. He left the team during a road trip after suffering stiffness in his neck and back.
Dorsett hopes to be remembered as a hardworking, honest player.
“There have been a lot of ups and downs but a lot of fun times, a lot of memories. Those are the memories I will cherish. Hopefully I can share them with my kids around a bonfire.”