It might not be surprising news, but it’s sad anyway; hobbled Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Mike Van Ryn will not play in the 2010-11 season, according to TSN.
Naturally, this brings up questions of retirement. Van Ryn didn’t play a single game in the 2009-10 season and only appeared in 27 in 08-09 and 20 in 07-08. The once-promising Florida Panthers blueliner hasn’t been able to recover from a left knee injury that required a re-alignment last October.
At 31-years-old with some significant injuries, I’m concerned that the NHL will give him a chance even if he decides to try to come back.
It’s a shame, too, because while he was far from a perfect defenseman, he produced very nicely for a couple years. He hit the 37-point mark in 03-04 and 05-06 in Florida; a mid-30 to 40 point season is usually the standard for a solid offensive season among defensemen. That first post-lockout season will almost certainly stand as his peak in the NHL, combining those 37 points with a +15 rating and 90 PIM.
All the luck in the world to Mike Van Ryn, whether he decides to hang up his skates for good or not.