Vancouver Canucks’ Forward Vinny Prospal, who played 16 seasons in the NHL, formally revealed his retirement on Tuesday. He was expected to join the Canucks’ American Hockey League affiliate this past weekend on a professional tryout deal, but had a change in heart.
Prospal, who turns 39 on Feb. 17, had 255 goals and 765 points in 1,108 career NHL matches, including 12 goals and 30 points in 48 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets last season. Selected in the third round (No. 71) of the 1993 NHL Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers, Prospal had five 20-goal seasons and more than 50 points on nine occasions. He had 10 goals and 35 points in 65 playoff games.
According to the sources – “I can confirm that this is the end of my career,” Prospal told Czech website iDNES.cz. “I found out that I wouldn’t be able to give 100 percent to hockey anymore. I want to thank my teammates and coaches who helped me enjoy a 20-year professional hockey career when very few thought I would play even one NHL game,” Prospal added in a release posted on the NHL Players’ Association website. “I sincerely want to thank the fans who have been so good to me, treating me with such kindness and respect, for the 20 years I have played here in North America in both the NHL and the AHL. Playing in the NHL was a dream. To play at the highest level for 16 years, with the best players in the world is something I will cherish for the rest of my life.”
Vinny Prospal, who is married and has 3 kids, played for 7 different NHL squads during his NHL term.