Derek Dorsett takes a walk down memory lane while issuing one last request

Scott Billeck
NBC Sports

Derek Dorsett‘s world came crashing down on him last week.

After being sent back to Vancouver following stiffness in his surgically repaired neck, Dorsett was given the devastating news that he would never play another game in the National Hockey League.

Dorsett missed 68 games last season due to the surgery, which was brutal in nature. But he was back on the ice to begin the regular season for the Vancouver Canucks, and he was just beginning to heat up on a line with Brandon Stutter and Sam Gagner. Dorsett had seven goals and nine assists in 20 games.

On Tuesday, Dorsett, a week removed from the life-changing news, penned a story on the Canucks’ website.

In a well-written, heartfelt letter to fans, Dorsett issued one request to them: 

There are a lot of people I want to thank. And I’m going to get to them.

But if there’s one thing I want you to know, it’s that I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me. If you could give me a script and say, “This is the story of your life,” I would do it over and over again, a billion times. Hockey gave me every opportunity I could dream of. I lived the dream every Canadian kid wants to have. I got to play in the greatest league in the world, in the greatest sport in the world.

So, don’t feel sorry for me.

Dorsett wrote about his life growing up a prairie kid in Kindersley, Saskatchewan, how his parents’ hard work ethic and support, which laid the path that he would eventually take to get him to the NHL. He wrote about his bewilderment at receiving college scholarships, making the decision to play in the Western Hockey League, getting under the skin of now-Ottawa Senators defenseman Dion Phaneuf, then playing in Red Deer, and his amazement at making the big leagues later on.

There are many more tales, all worth reading, including Dorsett detailing what led up to his surgery last season.

He ends it by getting to those thank yous, and declaring that hockey game him “everything he ever wanted and more.”

“It led me to my wife and kids,” Dorsett writes. “I’m going to enjoy a long life with them.”

Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

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