After 10 years and over 600 games, longtime NHL defenseman Keith Ballard has officially announced his retirement.
Ballard, 33, is walking away from the game nearly one year after suffering three facial fractures — and what ended up being his last concussion — in a collision against the Isles on Dec. 9, 2014:
Ballard, who had a history of concussion issues prior to that incident, never played again following the Islanders game and has since re-enrolled as a student at the University of Minnesota, where he starred from 2001-04.
“I didn’t want to retire at this time, but with the bigger picture in mind, it was a no-brainer,” Ballard said, per the Minnesota Star-Tribune. “You look at so many athletes and they struggle for so long and I don’t want that to be me.
“I want to live a healthy life, be there for my wife and kids.”
Ballard said he still experiences headaches, dizziness and fogginess, but explained the symptoms “aren’t bad like they were.”
Prior to finishing his career with the Wild, Ballard had spent time with the Coyotes, Panthers and Canucks. His most prolific season was in his rookie campaign, when he scored a career-high eight goals and 39 points.
DETROIT (AP) The Detroit Red Wings have put forward Johan Franzen on long-term injury reserve because of concussion-like symptoms.
Red Wings general manager Ken Holland says Franzen is out indefinitely.
Franzen played on back-to-back days in October, returning to the ice for the first time in nine months. He missed 49 games last year because of a concussion and also missed much of the previous season with concussion-like symptoms.
When healthy enough to play, Franzen was a key scorer for the Red Wings. He has 187 goals and 370 points in 602 games since making his NHL debut during the 2005-06 season.
Also Thursday, Detroit sent center Andreas Athanasiou to play for the Grand Rapids Griffins in the American Hockey League.
Times are tough for the Anaheim Ducks, and the latest news doesn’t paint a picture that’s one bit rosier.
The team announced that defenseman Simon Despres is still dealing with a concussion suffered from a hit that took place about a month ago. The one bright side is that he’s at least starting the process when it comes to getting better.
GM Bob Murray said that it will still be about a week or two before Despres is even cleared for physical contact.