The Vancouver Canucks announced this morning that Derek Dorsett will not be returning to the team, citing health concerns arising from the return of stiffness, pain and tingling associated with the same neck injury that required surgery last season.
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) November 30, 2017
Dorsett, 30, had cervical fusion surgery to repair an ongoing problem in his neck last December. His playing career seemed to be in jeopardy at the time, but both the Canucks and Dorsett remained optimistic about a recovery. And recover Dorsett did.
The doctors cleared Dorsett to resume his hockey playing career, and he didn’t miss a beat. Dorsett joined the Canucks at the onset of training camp and played a significant role on their checking line right to his last game.
Not only did Dorsett feature on the Canucks primary checking line and play an average of about 15 minutes a night; he scored a lot, too. Dorsett had seven goals in his first 15 games of the season.
Dorsett’s return to the Canucks and the role he played was the single-best storyline of the Canucks season.
When the leading doctors in the field of injury that Dorsett has been battling say it’s time to move on, it’s time to move on.
Per the Canucks press release this morning…
Following surgery Dorsett progressed through successful treatment and rehabilitation, consistent with expectations, and was cleared to play at the start of the 2017.18 season. Recently, symptoms of neck and back stiffness presented.
Dr. Bill Regan:
“We’ve evaluated Derek’s health and fitness to play consistent with every player’s medicalhistory. When his latest symptoms presented we immediately took the precaution of removing him from the line-up to carry out a thorough evaluation, including consultation with Dr. Watkins. His pre-existing conditions, combined with the recent surgery and the risks associated with continuing to play led to a recommendation that Derek seriously consider not playing again.
Green: Sad day for Dorsett as his career was cut short https://t.co/ucr0cF79U7
— TSN Radio Vancouver (@TSN1040) November 30, 2017
In parts of nine seasons split between the Columbus Blue Jackets, New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks, Dorsett played 515 games and potted 127 points (51 goals and 76 assists). Dorsett also amassed 1314 penalty minutes, which speaks to the role he played as a gritty pugilist.
It’s a sad day for the Canucks organization and Dorsett. There are more important things in life than hockey though and I think speak for everyone when I say that I’m just glad Dorsett will be able to enjoy those with his health in tact.