NHL forward Joonas Donskoi announces some tragic news.
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NHL forward Joonas Donskoi announces some tragic news.

NHL forward Joonas Donskoi took to social media on Sunday to magic a very sad announcement.

Jonathan Larivee

This is probably my least favorite part of covering this sport.

Every single hockey player dreams of playing in the National Hockey League one day, but more than that they all dream of achieving glory and ending their career on their own terms. Unfortunately for many professional athletes they aren't always given that opportunity and unfortunately on Sunday we learned that long time NHL forward Joonas Donskoi will be joining that club.

Donskoi took to social media to make a heartbreaking announcement on Sunday, revealing that repeated blows to the head have put a premature end to his NHL career. Donskoi admitted that this has been an extremely difficult choice, but the issues that can arise from repeated concussions are nothing short of terrifying and it seems Donskoi is making a decision with his long-term future in mind.

In order to preserve his message to the fans, here it is unedited and in full:

To everyone who has supported me on and off the ice,

After suffering multiple concussions over my career l've decided to retire from professional hockey. It is extremely hard to let go of something you have put your whole life into, but at this point I know it's the right decision for my own well being and future. I got to live my dream of being an NHL player, which l'm extremely blessed and greatful for. I think I was able to reach my own potential, which was always my biggest goal.

It would not have been possible without so many people who helped me along the way. Thank you San Jose Sharks, Colorado Avalanche and Seattle Kraken. It was an honor to be part of these 3 world class organizations, cities and fanbases. To all my teammates, coaches, trainers, doctors, front offices, and fans: thank you for the best years of my life. I met so many great people and lifelong friends, on and off the ice.

Thank you Steve and the whole Bartlett family for representing me throughout my NHL career, and for helping me transition into life post hockey.

Thank you to my wife, Devin, I don't know where l'd be without you. I've been out of it many times over the past years, and you have stuck by me and supported me everyday. I am looking forward to putting our family first now.

I love you, Declan and J.