Eye injury forces Islanders' Johnny Boychuk to call it a career

Eye injury forces Islanders' Johnny Boychuk to call it a career

The Islanders announced Wednesday that defenseman Johnny Boychuk's playing career is over due to an eye injury suffered during the recently completed season. Boychuk confirmed it on a Zoom call with the media in which the 36-year-old defenseman got choked up a few times describing how much it hurts to have the eye injury he suffered on March 3 in Brooklyn be the reason he's no longer able to play. The incident left Boychuk with 90 stitches on his eyelid, and though he returned to action, Boychuk admitted that it left him with what he termed optic nerve damage and a "severe' lack of peripheral vision".

He also played six seasons with Boston, where Boychuk won a Stanley Cup in 2011.

Boychuk was traded in 2014 to the Islanders, where he played 404 regular-season games, including 64 last season.

"I knew there was something going on but I didn't want to think about it because I wanted to play", he said Wednesday, according to The Athletic's Arthur Staple.


Quite importantly, Boychuk does not appear to be giving up the remaining money on his contract, but he will be moved to long-term injured reserve if the Islanders need extra cap space.

The Colorado Avalanche selected Boychuk 61st overall in 2002. "You try to play through everything, and I did".

BOSTON, MA - MAY 27: Tim Thomas #30 and Johnny Boychuk #55 of the Boston Bruins celebrate their 1 to 0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden.

"It does help knowing that I've won, but I wanted to win again", said Boychuk, who ends his National Hockey League career with 206 points in 725 games.

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