I recently had an argument with a friend who is not into hockey, about the risks involved in the sport. I started to follow the NHL closely after the 04/05 lockout, and I'm putting together a list of players who retired because of injuries since. (So only players who played since the lockout).
Last NHL game
Andy McDonald (concussion related) May 10 2013 (35 years old)
Blake Geoffrion (skull fracture) Apr 7 2012 (24 years old)
Blair Betts (knee injury) May 6 2011 (31 years old)
Chris Drury (knee injury) Apr 23 2011 (34 years old)
Mike Comrie (hip injury) Apr 10 2011 (30 years old)
Peter Forsberg (foot issue) Feb 12 2011 (37 years old)
Marc Savard (concussion related) Jan 22 2011 (33 years old)
Dave Scatchard (concussion related) Dec 18 2010 (34 years old)
Eric Lindros (concussion related) Apr 23 2007 (34 years old)
Steve Rucchin (eye injury) Feb 8 2007 (35 years old)
Alyn McCauley (knee injury) Jan 27 2007 (29 years old)
Alexei Zhamnov (ankle injury) Jan 7 2006 (35 years old)
Keith Primeau (concussion related) Oct 28 2005 (34 years old)
Kristian Huselius (hip injury) Dec 6 2011 (33 years old)
Fredrik Modin (back injury) Mar 10 2011 (37 years old)
Ian Laperriere (concussion related) Jun 9 2010 (36 years old)
Paul Kariya (concussion related) Apr 10 2010 (35 years old)
Georges Laraque (back injury) Jan 17 2010 (34 years old)
Trevor Letowski (concussion related) Apr 4 2008 (30 years old)
Matthew Barnaby (concussion related) Jan 9 2007 (33 years old)
Mike Leclerc (knee injury) May 1 2006 (29 years old)
Rob DiMaio (concussion related) Apr 29 2006 (38 years old)
Alexander Mogilny (hip injury) Dec 31 2005 (36 years old)
Eric Daze (back injury) Oct 5 2005 (30 years old)
Andy Sutton (knee injury) Apr 7 2012 (37 years old)
Chris Pronger (concussion related) Nov 19 2011 (37 years old)
Mattias Ohlund (knee injury) May 27 2011 (34 years old)
Brian Rafalski (knee/back injuries) May 12 2011 (37 years old)
Kim Johnsson (concussion related) Mar 13 2010 (33 years old)
Kurt Sauer (concussion related) Oct 3 2009 (28 years old)
Mike Van Ryn (knee injury) Mar 7 2009 (29 years old)
Derian Hatcher (knee injury) May 18 2008 (35 years old)
Kyle McLaren (knee injury) Apr 17 2008 (30 years old)
Rhett Warrener (shoulder injury) Mar 4 2008 (32 years old)
David Tanabe (concussion related) Dec 18 2007 (27 years old)
Mike Rathje (hip/back injuries) Nov 29 2006 (32 years old)
Eric Desjarinds (hip injury) May 2 2006 (35 years old)
Chris Therien (head injury) Feb 4 2006 (34 years old)
Antero Niittymaki (hip injury) Apr 23 2011 (30 years old)
Pascal Leclaire (hip injury) Dec 16 2010 (28 years old)
(I know Savard, Pronger and Ohlund aren't techinacally retired, but I don't think anyone is counting on them to return).
Mike Sauer is dangerously close to joining his brother on this list. From a promising top four defense to non-qualified in the span of just a couple of years due to repeated concussions.
I would argue that a few of these guys didn't really have "career enders", per say.... they just were so old when they sustained the injury that it wasn't worth it to rush back. One final little shove towards a retirement that was likely looming regardless.
Devils get cap relief as Mogilny declared unfit to play: [Final Edition]
Alaska Highway News [Fort St. John, B.C] 04 Oct 2006: A6.
Mogilny was difficult because he was 35 when he signed a two- year deal last summer. Under the league's collective bargaining agreement, that meant he would count against the cap this season even if he retired, was released or played in the AHL. But the Devils convinced the NHL that his chronic hip injury was caused while playing for the Devils, which qualifies him for the long-term injury exception list.
The league examined the case and had Mogilny see an independent doctor Monday before allowing the Devils to place him on the long- term injury exception list.
Valeri Bure, back injury sustained prior to the 2005-06 season:
Around the Rinks: [Final Edition]
Calgary Herald [Calgary, Alta] 25 Nov 2005: E5.
Valeri Bure has yet to play a game for the Los Angeles Kings.
The former Calgary Flames all-star winger saw a back specialist in Florida earlier this week in another effort to solve the mystery.
Bure, 31, now with his sixth NHL club, has a protruding disc in his spine.
"It's frustrating, particularly for Val," general manager Dave Taylor tells the Los Angeles Times. "He has had medicine and injections, but we haven't been able to get him any relief. (We) will try any other idea that makes sense."
Bure signed a one-year, $1.5-million deal in August. He was hurt Sept. 29.
Hockey: Bad back bothers Bure: [EARLY Edition]
The Ottawa Citizen [Ottawa, Ont] 11 Oct 2005: B5.
Los Angeles Kings forward Valeri Bure is nursing a back injury, although the severity of the problem is up for debate. Bure has said that a recent MRI exam revealed a herniated disc, but that diagnosis was news to the Kings, who have described the injury as a back strain. Bure, who's on injured reserve and could miss three weeks, is being treated with medication and physical therapy.
Bure to go under knife: [Final Edition]
Peace River Block Daily News [Dawson Creek, B.C] 09 Dec 2005: A6.
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Forward Valeri Bure of the Los Angeles is expected to be sidelined at least eight more weeks after he undergoes surgery to alleviate lower back pain. The procedure is planned for Friday and is scheduled to be performed by back surgeon Robert Watkins. The 31-year-old right-winger hasn't played a regular- season game with the Kings since signing with them on Aug. 12.
Injured on September 29, 2005 in a preseason game against the Colorado Avalanche.
"Around the Rinks." Calgary Herald: 0. Nov 25 2005. ProQuest. Web. 10 Nov. 2013 .
"Bure to Go Under Knife." Peace River Block Daily News: 0. Dec 09 2005. ProQuest. Web. 10 Nov. 2013 .
"Devils Get Cap Relief as Mogilny Declared Unfit to Play." Alaska Highway News: 0. Oct 04 2006. ProQuest. Web. 10 Nov. 2013 .
"Hockey: Bad Back Bothers Bure." The Ottawa Citizen: 0. Oct 11 2005. ProQuest. Web. 10 Nov. 2013 .
Last edited by JetsAlternate: 11-10-2013 at 07:12 PM.
I'm only including players who played since the lockout, so Courtnall, Deadmarsh and Blackburn doesn't fit the criteria. Not including players with bad heart condition either, because those aren't direct issues sustained from playing hockey. As for Lydman, source? If Anaheim had offered him a contract this summer, I think he'd still be playing.
Edit: Came up with Eric Daze, Alexander Mogilny and Blair Betts.
Thanks for all the posts. Came up with Mike Rathje as well. I think Kyle McLaren and Denis Gauthier may have retired because of injuries too, but can't find any source to back it up. There's also Todd Harvey and Andy Hilbert who just dissappeared, but I'm not sure if its injury related.