Defenseman Johnny Boychuk announced his retirement from NHL on Wednesday. Boychuk, who spent the last six seasons with the New York Islanders, cited the eye injury he suffered back in March as the reason for his decision.
The news was also confirmed on the Islanders’ official social media accounts.
Boychuk was injured during a game against Montreal Canadiens when Artturi Lehkonen cut him with a skate across the right eye. The incident forced the 36-year-old defenseman to undergo plastic surgery and caused him to miss the remainder of the 2019/20 camping.
Although Boychuk expressed optimism about returning to NHL in the past, the recovery didn’t go as planned, forcing him to call it quits.
“It was a life choice, I guess,” said Boychuk off his decision. “If I was to go and play again and not able to see somebody coming and get hit, I could be a lot worse than what I was.”
Johnny Boychuk made his NHL debut with Colorado Avalanche in 2007, playing four games with the organization before being traded to Boston Bruins. With Bruins, Boychuk established himself as a formidable presence on the defense and helped the team win the Stanley Cup in 2011. Boston ended up trading him to Islanders in 2014 as the team found himself in salary-cap troubles.
Boychuk played 725 regular-season games in NHL, scoring 54 goals and dishing 152 assists for a total of 206 goals.