Sports

Eye injury forces islander Johnny Boychuk to call it a career

Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk had to suddenly end his career due to prolonged effects of the horrific eye injuries he suffered during the 2019-20 regular season, the team announced Wednesday.

In a zoom call Wednesday afternoon, the 36-year-old revealed less peripheral vision and optic nerve damage due to two separate incidents in the NHL for 13 years. The team said in a statement that after two months of “many extensive health examinations,” Boychuk decided it was dangerous to continue playing.

“It wasn’t really a decision, it was a life choice,” said emotional Boychuk. “If I couldn’t go play again and see someone come and be beaten, I could be much worse than myself.”

The first eye injury that Boychuk remembered was when he took him to the temple only once at the beginning of his career. He was further damaged in March and hit his face directly with a skate blade that required 90 needles to repair. Canadians winger Montreal Canadiens cut only his eyelids, but the injury had a protracted effect.

The deliberate decision not to announce Boychuk as “retired” could put Boychuk on the long-term injured list. This allows the organization to exceed the cap space limits that can occur with the $ 6 million cap hits he carries.

Boychuk, who came to the Islanders on a deal from Bruins in October 2014, did not state that he was injured due to the playoffs and had symptoms when he returned from the COVID-19 shutdown in July. But after a big hit from Panthers defenseman Mike Matheson in Game 1 of the Play-in series and setting him aside until the last two games of the Isles postseason, Boychuk finds out something is really wrong. I said I was there.

“When I was beaten, I realized it might have been — I wouldn’t call it a dirty hit — but I didn’t see him coming,” he says. I did. “I should have met him at least a little bit, but I couldn’t. I realized something was wrong, I had a concussion in the bubble, and you started thinking about things.

“I noticed when I was playing, but you go through it and try whatever you need to win, and after losing, you realize it’s worse than you think. These I got confirmation by running all the tests. “

Things went awry after Boychuk returned home after the loss of Islanders in the finals of the Eastern Conference. While working on this offseason, he felt he was more likely to check things.

After the doctor found irreversible damage to his eyes, Boychuk contacted general manager Lou Lamoriero.

“It was difficult to handle everything at the same time,” he said. “I went and did all these tests. It was really hard. Someone told you that you never intended to play, or shouldn’t, or that you would be seriously injured. When I said it was really hard. “

In six seasons with the Islanders, Boychuk scored 35 goals and 96 assists in 404 games. In 2002, Avalanche’s 61st overall selection, Boychuk played four NHL games in Colorado before being traded to Bruins in 2008 and winning the Stanley Cup in 2011.

“It helps me know I won, but I wanted to win again,” said Boychuk, who finished his NHL career with 206 points in 725 games. “Hopefully you can do that across the fence. That’s something I have to understand right away.”

Eye injury forces islander Johnny Boychuk to call it a career

Source link Eye injury forces islander Johnny Boychuk to call it a career

Back to top button