Yesterday, reports surfaced that veteran Vinny Prospal would be joining Vancouver’s AHL team in Utica on a professional tryout in the hopes of reviving his NHL career.
Today, he changed his mind.
The Canucks announced that Prospal has declined to join the Comets, and will retire. The decision comes just months after Prospal told the Columbus Dispatch he had no intention to retire, and was training in Europe with the intention of playing in the NHL again.
Prospal says he knew after the 1st practice with the #Comets that he can’t give the game 100% anymore.
— News1130 Sports (@News1130Sports) January 24, 2014
Prospal, 38, led the Blue Jackets in scoring last year with 30 points in 48 games. He wasn’t brought back after becoming a UFA in July, however, as the club opted to give its younger forwards an opportunity to play more (the club also brought in Nathan Horton via free agency).
The tryout with Vancouver made sense, though, as Prospal and Canucks head coach John Tortorella have a long history together. Prospal played under Torts in both Tampa Bay and New York, scoring a career-high 80 points in 81 games with the Bolts during the 2005-06 campaign.
Update: Here’s some insight into Prospal’s decision, from Utica play-by-play man Brendan Burke…
Talked to Prospal this morning. Said it wouldn’t be fair to anyone if he wasn’t 100% committed. Headed home to be a dad to his 3 kids.
— Brendan Burke (@brendanmburke) January 24, 2014