Former Bruins d-man Johnny Boychuk announces retirement due to eye injury


New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk announced his retirement Wednesday due to an eye injury he suffered during the 2019-20 NHL season.

Boychuk spent the last six seasons with the Islanders, who acquired him in a 2014 trade with the Boston Bruins.

The veteran defenseman was emotional when talking with reporters about his decision Wednesday:

The 36-year-old blueliner was a very good (and often underrated) defenseman for Boston from 2009-10 through 2013-14. He played a key role on the Bruins' Stanley Cup-winning team in 2010-11, as well as the squad that reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2013.

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Boychuk's huge hits, willingness to fight and clutch goals (known as "Johnny Rockets") quickly made him a fan favorite throughout his tenure with the Bruins.

He was also a favorite among his teammates -- and Milan Lucic took a moment to salute Boychuk on social media Wednesday.

Boychuk played 13 NHL seasons between the Colorado Avalanche, Bruins and Islanders. He tallied 206 (54 goals, 152 assists) points in 725 career games, in addition to playing 125 career Stanley Cup Playoff games.