Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Dan Blackburn forced to retire at 22

NEW YORK (CP) - New York Rangers goaltender Dan Blackburn announced
his retirement Sunday, ending his attempt at a comeback from serious
nerve damage in his left shoulder.

"Danny has worked extremely hard over the last two seasons to do
everything in his power to get his shoulder to a point where he would
be able to play," Rangers president and general manager Glen Sather
said in a statement. "We are all very disappointed for him, knowing
the effort he put in and the tremendous future he had."

Blackburn, 22, suffered the shoulder injury prior to the start of
Rangers' training camp in 2003 and was sidelined for the entire
2003-04 season. He underwent nerve exploration surgery in 2004, then
returned to action for the Victoria Salmon Kings of the ECHL during
the NHL labour dispute.

He posted a 3-9-0 record with a 3.54 goals-against average for the
Salmon Kings, but struggled with limited mobility in his left arm that
relegated him to wearing to wear a blocker on his glove hand. He was
invited to Rangers' camp as a longshot, and suffered a further setback
when he injured his left knee on Sept. 15.

The six-foot-one, 191-pound netminder posted a 20-32-4 record with a
3.22 goals-against average in 63 career games for the Rangers. He made
his debut in 2001 as an 18-year-old, making him the fifth-youngest
goaltender in history to appear in an NHL game.

-thanks to www.sportsnet.ca

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