In somewhat surprising news, Blues forward Andy McDonald is retiring, citing post-concussion concerns as his reason for leaving the game.
“The last few years too much of the focus became worrying about the next hit. I was always thinking about it,” McDonald tells True Hockey.
“I’m fortunate to get out now. I know I could play two or three more years and I love the game of hockey, but health-wise I know I shouldn’t be playing.”
McDonald, 35, had seven goals and 14 assists in 37 games this season. He appeared in all six playoff games for St. Louis, failing to register a point.
According to True Hockey, McDonald suffered five concussions during his NHL career.
McDonald was set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
In all, he played 685 regular-season games, scoring 182 goals and adding 307 assists.
He also won a Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007.
Vladimir Tarasenko’s promising rookie season ended on a bit of a down note as he only played in one playoff games (with just five minutes of ice time) for the St. Louis Blues, yet the team seems enthusiastic about his future, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
GM Doug Armstrong’s summer assignment: get better and get ready.
“I was very impressed with his season,” Armstrong said. “Now he has to go home and he has to come back in and be a player that we can count on. He left with a mandate that, ‘Your name is on the board in an important spot now.'”
The 21-year-old’s game clearly fell off after he suffered a concussion on Feb. 20, so getting healthy will be a big goal during the summer, as well.
With key forwards such as Chris Stewart, Patrik Berglund and Andy McDonald in need of new contracts, it’s quite possible that the Blues will indeed ask more of the rising star.
Many were wondering what prevented Tyler Bozak from playing in the final two games of the Leafs-Bruins series.
Well, now they know.
Bozak told reporters he tore his triceps on a faceoff at the end of Game 5, an injury that wiped him out for the remainder of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal.
Recovery time for such a tear is four weeks — which means he should be healthy in time for free agency.
The 27-year-old center is going to be a curious case this summer. Bozak had a strong season for the Leafs — 12 goals, 16 assists — and did it coming off a stellar 2011-12 campaign, when he posted highs in goals (18) and points (47).
Bozak also averaged over 20 minutes per game this season, the most in his four-year NHL career.
The former University of Denver standout is in the final season of a two-year, $3 million deal and should get a significant pay bump as an unrestricted free agent.
He figures to be one of the top centers available this summer — Mike Ribeiro, Derek Roy and Andy McDonald are some others — but the key with Bozak is his age.
He turned 27 in March, whereas most of the other UFA centers are already on the wrong side of 30.
UPDATE: According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Bozak suffered a 70 percent tear of his right triceps. Bozak also said taking warmup for Game 6 was “pure [Randy] Carlyle mind games” as he had no chance of playing.