Vancouver B.C. December 1st 2017- Derek Dorsett’s days in the National Hockey League are over.
After 20 games this season, Dorsett scored 7 goals. His goal scoring alongside powerful defensive performances helped the Canucks to a .500 record at the quarter mark of the season. Dorsett was forced to retire due to re-aggravating his neck from an injury sustained in 2016.
In 2016, Dorsett was required to have surgery on a cervical disc herniation and surprised many when he was able to play again in 2017. The surgery left parts of his body numb for a number of days, as the surgery went in through his neck.
In a game against L.A. on November 14th, the Canucks fell behind early. Dorsett would find himself in a fight with the Kings Andy Andreoff as he tried to ignite his team to their eventual 3-2 comeback. Dorsett; The NHL leader in penalty minutes would sustain a cervical disc herniation adjacent and separate to his previous fusion while fighting the King’s forward. On November 21st Dorsett was sent home from the Canucks eastern road trip due to stiffness in his neck and back.
After returning to Vancouver, Dorsett met with the doctor who had performed his previous surgery. Dr. Robert Watkins said “Given his current condition and the long-term, significant health risks, I advised Derek not to return to play.” Signalling the end of the NHL forwards career.
In a release by the Canucks on their social media accounts, there was confirmation that Dorsett had been forced to retire because of his injury. “I’m devastated by the news. It will take a long time for this to truly sink in.” Dorsett said in regards to his retirement, as well as going onto say “I am proud of the way I played. It made me successful and a good teammate. Most of all I am truly honoured and grateful to have lived the NHL dream.”
The Saskatchewan enforcer’s abrasive play and hardworking style made him very popular among a Vancouver fan base, which has not had much to cheer for in recent seasons. Dorsett played 515 NHL games in his career, scoring 51 goals and 127 points, as well as picking up 1314 penalty minutes. He also played 43 playoff games throughout his time in the league. Dorsett is one of only 20 players to have played 500 games in the league from the 2006 draft.
“Honestly, I’m glad that Dorsett is prioritizing his health and family. There are worse ways to go out than after arguably the best month of your career. “Jim Benning would say about Dorsett’s retirement.
The Canucks announced Thursday that Dorsett will hold a press conference at a later date.