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04-12-2013, 10:23 AM
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Former Flyers goalie Antero Niittymäki has decided to retire from pro hockey due to constant hip problems.

Former NHL goalie Antero Niittymäki, 32, is forced to retire from hockey due to hip ailments.
- It is final now. When your body is done, it's done.

Niittymäki was almost forced to quit his career a year ago but thanks to the installation of an artificial hip joint replacement, he decided to try for one last time. He signed a one-year contract with TPS, but was restricted to only about 10 starts all season.
- The artificial joint replacement held up pretty well, but the other hip started to bother. And when you're not able to train properly it's hard to play well. It was getting tough mentally.

Hip problems have plagued Niittymäki for a long time. He estimates that his other hip will require an artificial joint replacement at some point in future.

- There is wear and tear. It looks like I'll have an artificial joint in my other hip too before I'm forty.

Niittymäki says he had time to deal with the end of his playing career in peace and quiet.

- This didn't come out of the blue. I've been preparing for this moment for the past few years. However, it is a bit sad, because without injuries I could have played for another 5 to 7 years.

- But I'm not bitter at all. I got to play 14 years as a professional and won championships and medals. It was a tremendous career especially since I wasn't exactly a star in the juniors.

Niittymäki intends to keep himself busy with the activities of his three children.

- Our son, 7, plays hockey, so I'm probably going to be involved in junior coaching. Our daughters, 3 and 6, are in gymnastics so I'll be busy driving them to activities.

Last edited by premadonna: 04-12-2013 at 11:48 AM.
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