Skip to main content

Chronic back problems force Florida Panthers centre Joe Nieuwendyk to retire

The 40-year-old Florida Panthers centre told reporters Wednesday that his 20-year NHL career was finished after doctors informed him that his chronic back pain would not improve.

"I have reached the stage where structurally my back isn't going to get any better," Nieuwendyk was quoted by the Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel. "It's not the way I intended it, but I have to be realistic as well." Nieuwendyk won a Stanley Cup in 1989 with the Flames, 1999 with the Stars and 2003 with the Devils. He was also awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in 1999.

He was also a member of the 2002 Canadian team that won the country's first Olympic gold in men's hockey in 50 years.

Nieuwendyk scored 564 goals and had 1,126 points in a career that spanned 1,257 games. He played for the Panthers, Toronto, New Jersey, Dallas and Calgary.

He appeared in 15 of Florida's 29 games this season, last appearing on Nov. 28 against Montreal.

Nieuwendyk visited a back specialist last week and told Panthers coach Jacques Martin of his choice to retire on Monday. Players were told Wednesday morning before practice.



Both Wild, Kings Come Out as Winners in Fiala Trade

The Wild and Kings made a swap on Wednesday. with Kevin Fiala being the main trade chip. Here's what the Kings are getting in Fiala, and why Wild fans should be excited about Faber.


Malkin And Letang Could Be Edging Closer to Free Agency

Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang are among the biggest names slated to become UFAs on July 13. There appears to be little progress in contract talks between the Pittsburgh Penguins and their long-time stars.

Craig Anderson

Craig Anderson Signs One-Year Extension With Sabres

Craig Anderson, 41, has signed a one-year deal to remain in Buffalo with a value of $1.5 million.