BOSTON (CBS) — Veteran NHL defenseman Johnny Boychuk is hanging up his skates.
The 36-year-old Boychuk is retiring from the game, due to the eye injury he suffered during the 2019-20 season. The Islanders announced the news on Wednesday.
Boychuk suffered the injury — the second injury to his eye — in early March, when the skate of Montreal’s Artturi Lehkonen hit his face. Boychuk needed 90 stitches to heal that wound.
Boychuk had expressed optimism for potentially playing when the NHL restarted in the summer, but he was able to play in just three games. He suffered a head injury in his first game back when Mike Matheson delivered an illegal check to the head.
The Islanders said that the decision to retire was made “after numerous and extensive medical exams.”
A native of Edmonton, Boychuk was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in 2002. He was traded to the Bruins in 2008, and he became a regular in the Bruins’ lineup in the 2009-10 season. He averaged 20:30 of ice time during the 2010-11 season, and he maintained that ice during the Bruins’ run to the Stanley Cup in the spring of 2011.
The Bruins traded Boychuck in 2014 to the Islanders, for whom he played six seasons.
Boychuk played in 317 regular-season games and 79 playoff games for Boston, before playing 404 regular-season games and 25 playoff games for the Islanders.