Johnny Boychuk, New York Islanders’ Player, Retires

Wednesday morning, the New York Islanders announced the retirement of veteran defenseman, Johnny Boychuk. Boychuk’s retirement is a result of an injury to his left eye sustained towards the end of the 2019-2020 regular season.

Boychuk’s injury came in the third period of a contest on March 3 between the Islanders and the Montreal Canadiens. He was injured when Artturi Lehkonen tripped and caught him in the face with his skate. Boychuk writhed on the ground in pain for a bit before rushing off the ice, holding the left side of his face. The gash on his face would require 90 stitches and intense rehab for four months. 

Boychuk would be cleared to return for the Islanders matchup in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers against the Florida Panthers. Unfortunately, Boychuk lasted just more than a period before suffering another injury. Boychuk went down in the second period of Game 1 when he received a cheap shot to the head from Mike Matheson while transitioning into the offensive zone. Boychuk would suffer a concussion and not return for the rest of the Islanders’ run to the Eastern Conference Final. 

Boychuk has said in light of the hit, “When I got hit, I realized it might have been a – I wouldn’t say a dirty hit – but I didn’t see him coming. I realized that I should have been able to see him a little bit, but I didn’t. I realized something was off.”

Further testing since the Stanley Cup Playoffs revealed that Johnny’s optic nerve had been irreparably damaged and his peripheral vision had been worsened. 

RELATED: HL Superstar, Connor McDavid, Tests Positive for the Coronavirus

After receiving his diagnosis Johnny said, “I don’t even think it was a decision [to retire]. When you play with it and realize there’s something wrong. Then, you go and get tests – it wasn’t really a decision. It was a life choice. If I was to go and play again, not see somebody coming and get hit, I could be a lot worse than what I was.”

Boychuk has played 725 games in his 13-year NHL career. Over that span, he recorded 206 points including 54 goals and 152 assists. He played in 104 Stanley Cup Playoff games in which he recorded 13 goals and 17 assists. After playing for the Colorado Avalanche in his rookie year, Boychuk spent six years with the Boston Bruins, including their 2011 Stanley Cup-winning season. He was acquired by the Islanders in 2014, and he would go on to record 131 points (35 goals and 96 assists) in 404 games with the team. 

Boychuk had the following to say about his team, “I think everybody has seen the transformation of the Islanders and how the team has conducted themselves. With Lou [Lamoriello] and Barry [Trotz] coming in, halfway through my time on the Island, it’s just been getting better and better as well. It will continue to get better and better because we play together and we play for each other – we always will. It’s been a nice transformation. I’m sure the fans have noticed it. We’ll be a tough team to play against for a long time. That’s what we wanted to bring and that’s why I signed long-term with the Islanders.”

It’s a shame that Boychuk’s career ended on an injury that is every hockey player’s worst nightmare. We hope he continues to recover, wish him well in his future endeavors, and thank him for his impression on and time in the NHL.

About At The Buzzer

At The Buzzer, or ATB, is the place for those who love sports, life, family, community, and so much more. We are far from the run of the mill 24/7 sports news websites. We not only bring you what’s happening in the world of sports in terms of trades and breaking news, but we also bring you the news that goes on behind the scenes. The stuff you don’t see during the 48 minutes of an NBA game or the 60 minutes of an NFL game. We let you know what’s going on in the lives of your favorite athletes. From big life moments like becoming a mother or a father to highlighting personal videos of them raising their little ones, At The Buzzer is the place you go when you want to relate to the athlete you root for on a daily basis. If you're interested in how Russell Wilson juggles being one of the best quarterbacks in the league while also being a doting husband and father-of-three, we got you covered. Interested in seeing a video of Iman Shupert's three-month-old baby speaking her first words, we have that here at ATB. Or would you rather watch Tiger Woods' son growing up and following in his father's footsteps, don't worry, we can show you that too. At The Buzzer is so much more than sports. It's relatable, reliable, and ready to show you a side of sports you didn't know existed. Our goal at ATB is to bring you relatable, entertaining news that will leave you feeling closer and more informed about the people you are looking up to and rooting for. Sports are more than just a group of organizations that entertain you, it's about the people who make up those organizations and the stories of how they became the people they are today. So take a minute and read one of our articles, we promise you won't regret it.

%d bloggers like this: