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Former NHLer Retires due to Health Issues


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TJ Tucker
August 1, 2023  (1:37 PM)
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A former NHLer with plenty of accolades on the international stage has been forced to retire at the age of 38. Sami Lepisto had signed a contract with HIFK of the Finnish Elite League for next season. However, in a statement, the team said a recent medical examination showed a heart issue that precents him from continuing to play.

"After further investigation, playing was no longer recommended. The risk is small, but it is there. I was very keen and I would have liked to be part of this team, but of course health is always the first priority." - Sami Lepisto

Lepisto was initially drafted into the NHL by the Washington Capitals in 2004 (66th overall). He also played for the Phoenix Coyotes, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Chicago Blackhawks, before signing in the KHL in 2012. Lepisto spent nine seasons in the KHL, moving to the Swedish Hockey League in 2021, and then the Swiss National League in 2022.
"Looking back on that time now, it feels like it went really fast. I got to play in top leagues, meet new people and experience great things about the sport. But at some point it always comes to an end."

"It's time to take a breather and spend time with my family."

Lepisto, now 38, has represented his home country of Finland on the international stage several times, winning two Olympic bronze medals, a gold and a bronze at the World Championships, and a bronze medal at the World Juniors in 2004. He was also named the best defenceman at that tournament. In 2009, he won the AHL's Calder Cup with the Hershey Bears.
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AUGUST 1   |   40 ANSWERS
Former NHLer Retires due to Health Issues

Did you ever get to see Lepisto play in the NHL or elsewhere?

Yes717.5 %
No2152.5 %
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