Zack Smith announces retirement after 12 seasons

Zack Smith retired from the NHL on Friday after 12 seasons.

The 33-year-old forward most recently played in the NHL with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2019-20, when he had 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in 50 games. His last game in the NHL was on February 12, 2020, before he was placed on the long-term injured list in March following back surgery.

“The surgery didn’t really fix the issues I was dealing with,” Smith told The Athletic. I haven’t played a game for a year and a half. In February, it will be two years since my last game in the NHL. It would have been difficult to come back and find the rhythm after such a long absence, knowing that I would probably have lost a bit of speed. « 

Prior to the 2019-20 season, Smith had played the previous 11 seasons with the Ottawa Senators.

“There were a number of different factors in my decisions,” said Smith. And I don’t want to sound like I took hockey for granted or didn’t appreciate the life hockey gave me, but my heart wasn’t there for the last few years. « 

Selected by Ottawa in the third round (79th overall) of the 2008 NHL Draft, Smith had 204 points (98 goals, 106 assists) in 662 regular season games and nine points (two goals, seven assists) in 45 games. Stanley Cup playoffs.

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