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Wrist injury forces defenseman Salo to retire

NHL.com @NHL

Sami Salo, a defenseman who spent most of his 15-year NHL career with the Vancouver Canucks but hasn't played since the 2013-14 season, announced his retirement Thursday, the Finnish publication Ilta-Sanomat reported.

Salo, who turns 41 on Sept. 2, said a wrist injury that kept him from playing last season forced him to retire.

Salo played in 878 regular-season games after entering the NHL in 1998-99 with the Ottawa Senators, who selected him in the ninth round (No. 239) of the 1996 NHL Draft. He spent four seasons with Ottawa and nine with the Canucks before playing his final two seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Salo had wrist surgery last October after playing 71 games and finishing with 17 points for the Lightning in 2013-14.

"It is very unlikely that Sami will be able to play longer and continue," Salo's agent, Markus Lehto, told Finnish website Iltalehto.fi last month, "[His] wrist injury is so severe."

Salo had 99 goals and 339 points in the regular season. In 102 Stanley Cup Playoff games, he scored 12 goals, eight on the power play, and had 31 points.

"He was the most underrated player the Canucks have ever seen. Tough as nails, so likeable, so good," Canucks president Trevor Linden, a former teammate, said Thursday on TSN Radio 1040.

Linden said Salo planned to move his family back to Vancouver, adding that "we'll see" if he'll have a role with the Canucks.

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