It has been a tough past few years for Stars defenseman Stephen Johns as he has battled post-concussion symptoms which limited him to just 17 games over the past three seasons. He has attempted to come back a few times in that stretch but has decided to call it a career, announcing his retirement on social media.
The 29-year-old was a second-round pick (60th overall) back in 2010 to Chicago but didn’t get his first NHL opportunity until he was traded to Dallas back in the 2015 offseason. He made his NHL debut the following season and then became more of a regular in 2016-17, playing in 61 games that year and 75 the following campaign, becoming a reliable shutdown defender that played with plenty of physicality. That helped earn him a well-deserved three-year, $7.05MM extension in 2018 as the Stars appeared to lock up a key defensive presence on their back end.
However, a late-season concussion in 2018 led to post-concussion symptoms that cost him all of 2018-19 and most of 2019-20. He was able to come back late in the year, suiting up in 17 games while logging over 17 minutes a night. He even got into the first four games in the bubble before the symptoms returned and unfortunately, they kept him out for all of this season as well.
With his contract coming to an end, Johns has decided to hang up his skates, sort of. While he won’t be skating on the ice anymore, he will be doing a rollerblading tour across the country. PHR joins the hockey community in wishing Johns the best of luck in his next adventure.