Ryan Whitney retires at 32, cites ‘nursing home ankles’

Ryan Whitney retires at 32, cites ‘nursing home ankles’

Ryan Whitney last played in the NHL during the 2013-14 season, with a seven-game stint on the Florida Panthers. He was 30 years old, splitting time between the Cats and the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL. His days as a nearly 60-point defenseman with the Pittsburgh Penguins seemed like ancient history.

Whitney knew he’d never be that player again. He toiled for two years overseas, in the KHL and briefly in the Swedish Hockey League. But on Sunday, Whitney finally called it a career – at 32 years old.

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“My mind has been flooded with so many amazing memories all day. From the early rides to the rink with my dad, to having the privilege of representing my country in the Olympic Games, it truly has been a wonderful journey,” he wrote, via Twitter.

“Unfortunately, my body broke down on me sooner than I had hoped. I’m 32 years old and you’re likely to find stronger and more stable ankles and feet on the residents at your local nursing home.”

Here is Whitney’s full statement on Twitter:

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Whitney is a Boston University product who played for the Penguins from 2005-09. He also skated for the Anaheim Ducks and the Edmonton Oilers (2009-13.) His ankle injuries (and other ailments) limited him to 481 NHL games, with 50 goals and 209 assists.

Whitney was also a member of the 2010 U.S. Olympic team in Vancouver, earning a silver medal (but, as all Americans know, technically winning gold on aggregate points vs. Canada).

Fare thee well, Ryan Whitney – a funny dude whose body wouldn’t keep up with his spirit.

“I dreamt of playing in the NHL my entire life and it all became a reality,” he said.