Veteran forward Martin Hanzal officially retired after 12 NHL seasons and multiple back surgeries.
Hanzal, 33, registered 338 career points (127 goals, 211 assists) and 574 penalty minutes in 673 games with the Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes (2007-17), Minnesota Wild (2017) and Dallas Stars (2017-18).
His last game was with the Stars on Dec. 23, 2018, against the New York Islanders, nine months after undergoing spinal fusion surgery. Hanzal also had back surgeries in 2008 and 2015.
“It’s a little bit of a relief because the last couple of years I wasn’t sure if I’d play another NHL game or be healthy again, so now it’s official: I am retired from the NHL,” Hanzal told AZ Coyotes Insider on Sunday. “If I was healthy, I would probably still be playing, but after three back surgeries, and especially after the last one, I just can’t do it anymore. I was doing everything I could after this last one, and it took me a year to get back on the ice.
“When I went to see the doctor again, it was either do another surgery or be done playing. Even the doctor said, ‘We’re not sure another surgery will help.’ I still have a long life ahead of me. I don’t want to do another surgery when it’s not 100 percent sure it will even help.”
Drafted 17th overall by the Coyotes in 2005, Hanzal played in 28 Stanley Cup Playoff games and contributed five goals and eight assists.
–Field Level Media