After consulting with doctors in Los Angeles, it has been decided that Derek Dorsett will not return to the Vancouver Canucks due to continued health risks associated with playing. Dorsett had cervical disc herniation surgery just under a year ago and returned early this year before feeling pain again recently. From Dorsett himself:
I’m devastated by the news. It will take a long time for this to truly sink in. As hard as it was to hear, Dr. [Robert] Watkins’ diagnosis is definitive. There is no grey area, and it gives me clarity to move forward. I have a healthy young family and a long life of opportunities ahead of me. Hockey taught me a lot and it will help me be successful in whatever I choose to do in the future.
Dorsett has another year remaining on his contract after this season, but will likely be moved to long-term injured reserve for the duration.
It’s an unfortunate end to what has been an impressive career. Dorsett was selected 189th-overall in 2006, but made it to the NHL by 2008 by showing that he was more than just a tough guy. He could drop the gloves whenever required, but he also had some speed and forechecking ability that would keep him in the game long after pure enforcers were phased out. This season he was off to the best start of his career with seven goals through 20 games, already matching his highest total since 2011-12.