Sounds like Mattias Ohlund is ready to call it a day.
That was the word out of Tampa Bay over the weekend as the 36-year-old defenseman — who hasn’t played in 18 months — said his inability to recover from knee surgery has probably ended his career.
“I’ve thought about [the next step] quite a bit, but it clearly involves more people than me,” Ohlund told the Tampa Tribune on Sunday. “I’ve spoke to Steve [Yzerman, Tampa Bay GM] quite a bit about what the end result will be.
“For a long period of time I’ve been trying to get better and better, but clearly the longer you don’t play, the likelihood of playing again gets smaller and smaller each day, especially at my age.”
The Tribune notes that Ohlund has spent “hundreds of hours” doing rehab and workouts in an effort to improve his surgically-repaired knee, with little success.
Last May, he underwent a procedure in which a thin layer of titanium was used to resurface the bottom of the femur behind his kneecap.
Essentially, it was supposed to create a cushion where cartilage — which Ohlund had worn away — usually covers the bone. Without that cushion, the veteran blueliner was experiencing painful bone-on-bone rubbing at the knee-femur joint.
Ohlund has been traveling with the team lately as a coaching assistant, lending an “extra set of eyes” to rookie head coach Jon Cooper.
As for when a decision might be made about the Swede’s playing future?
“I don’t know long term what my situation will be,” Ohlund told the Tribune. “But I’m sure it will be figured out shortly.”