December 08, 2015

Pascal Dupuis Retires

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Pascal Dupuis announced his retirement. The 36 year old can no longer play hockey, effective immediately, due to a medical condition related to blood clots that have sidelined him for 71 games over the past two seasons.

Dupuis originally suffered a torn ACL and MCL in a game against the Ottawa Senators on December 23rd, 2013. During rehabilitation of the knee injury a blood clot formed, and the clot later travelled to Dupuis' lungs.

"I remember sitting in the hospital parking lot and thinking, Okay. This is it. You walk into that building and your career might be over." Dupuis tells the scary story of being diagnosed with the clot - and how it was so serious that doctors feared for his life - at The Player's Tribune.

Yet he kept trying to just play through it, keeping ailments quiet when he could. He even played five games with, as he termed it, "one-third of a lung." He even scored two goals in a 2-1 victory over Toronto in that stretch. He ignored the chest pains, stupidly living in denial.

Dupuis had attempted to return to the ice in the 2015-16 season with the help of blood thinners and medication, but concerns about his long term health made Dupuis decide to put his family first rather than risk his life.

"If all this was on me or if I was taking a selfish approach, I would probably still be playing,” said Dupuis.

“It was very difficult for me to make this decision to have to step away from the game,” Dupuis said. “My wife and four children have always been my first priority, and playing with my condition has become a constant worry for all of us. I want to thank my teammates and the Penguins organization for their unwavering support during this difficult time.”

Three times Dupuis scored 20 or more goals in a season. He ends his career having scored 190 goals and 409 points in 871 career games with Penguins, Atlanta Thrashers, New York Rangers and Minnesota Wild.

Dupuis made it to the NHL as an undrafted free agent. He was not drafted as he suffered a badly broken ankle just prior to the draft. After a tryout with Calgary he attended the Minnesota Wild's training camp and impressed.

He emerged as versatile forward known for his skating which allowed him to become an good penalty killer and an energy guy on the forecheck.

He was a member of the Penguins 2009 Stanley Cup championship team. In his time in Pittsburgh he often played with both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, as he was an excellent complimentary winger to either superstar thanks to his speed and defensive commitment.

He also could score a few goals, often using his patented one-timer slap shot.

Dupuis - who acted as Milt Schmidt in the 2005 hockey biopic "Maurice Richard" - has two years remaining on a four-year, $15-million deal he signed in 2013. The Penguins will continue to pay him.

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