Talking about the potential retirement of an active player is always a very touchy subject, but one National Hockey League insider dove head first into that topic today and I believe he did so with nothing but good intentions.
In a recent article published for The Athletic Anaheim Ducks insider Eric Stephems discussed the health of veteran Ducks' forwards Ryan Kesler and Patrick Eaves. Perhaps no one has his finger on the pulse in Anaheim more than Stephens and after observing both players for a very long time he asked that they put some real thought into ending their careers.
As it stands now, they might not play another NHL game. The time has come for them to take a serious look at that option.
According to Stephens neither man is expected to set foot back out on the ice during the 2018 - 2019 NHL regular season, but the bigger issue rests in the nature of the injuries to both players. Both players are suffering from very serious reoccurring injuries and with both men at 34 years old it's difficult to imagine a return to the NHL next season that leaves their bodies in good condition.
Perhaps the more serious of the two injuries is the condition that is currently ailing Patrick Eaves. Eaves suffered from some mysterious form of a muscle weakening disorder 18 months ago and according to comments made by Anaheim Ducks general manager, and interim head coach, Bob Murray this week it now appears like some of the symptoms of that disorder have returned. Obviously this is a nightmare scenario for Eaves and it's impossible to gauge what his recovery might be like given the nature of his issue.
Kesler's situation is also a dire one given that he continues to suffer from a nagging hip injury that has limited to just 60 games during the 2018 - 2019 NHL regular season. According to Stephens Kesler's surgically repaired hip continues to impair him both out on the ice and in his every day life as well, additionally Stephens suspects that Kesler will suffer from pain in his hip until it is replaced with an artificial one.
Stephens believes that the outlook, at least for now, does not look good for either man.