Mattias Ohlund hasn’t played a National Hockey League game since May 27 – of 2011 – and once again is talking about the sober reality facing his career.
According to the Swedish newspaper Norrbottens-Kuriren (and translated through Google), the Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman has not made an official decision about his playing career, but maintains the realization that it might be over due to injury and recovery from major surgery on his left knee.
As per Norrbottens-Kuriren and a Google translation, Ohlund feels “no need to make any final decision.”
He continued to say that he has not played in more than two years and has to “…realize that the conditions to play again becomes less and less.”
Ohlund’s last game came against the Boston Bruins in the 2011 Eastern Conference final. In February of 2012, Ohlund underwent major surgery on his left knee, and despite a lengthy rehabilitation process, he has yet to make a return.
He turns 37 years of age on Sept. 9, and still has three years remaining on a contract that pays him $25.25 million over seven years, according to Capgeek.com.
Ohlund has spoken before about the uncertainty facing his NHL career. His comments to the Swedish newspaper reiterate what he told reporters in Tampa Bay earlier this spring.
In April, he told The Tampa Tribune: “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.”
Ohlund was selected 13th overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the 1994 NHL Draft.
He played 11 seasons for the Canucks, before signing with the Lightning as an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2009.