Dorsett finds ‘peace’ with NHL re­tire­ment

Ottawa Citizen - - SPORTS - JIM MOR­RIS

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.”

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