SAN JOSE, CA - San Jose Barracuda (@SJBarracuda) Captain John McCarthy today announced his retirement from professional hockey, effective immediately, due to health reasons.
On Dec. 10, McCarthy, 33, suffered an Ischemic stroke due to a previously undetected hole in his heart. Following swift medical attention from the team's medical staff and the physicians at Kaiser Permanente, McCarthy was stabilized and has made a complete recovery. In the coming weeks, McCarthy will undergo a minor heart procedure to correct the issue.
Beginning with tonight's Barracuda game against the Stockton Heat, McCarthy will join Co-Coaches Jimmy Bonneau and Michael Chiasson as a member of the team's coaching staff.
"I went into this year thinking I'm 33-years-old, I've been playing for a long time, this could be my last year playing," said McCarthy. "The Sharks and Barracuda have been great, Joe (Will) and Doug (Wilson) have both been unbelievable to me as far as giving me a chance to play so when I suffered the stroke that decision kind of accelerated for me. It's not something you can prepare for or see coming so I took some time. I spoke to some people whose opinions I value and, although it's not out of the question that I could return after an extended period of time, I think it's a good time for me to step away from playing. It's ending one chapter but at the same time, it's starting a new one on the coaching side of things. I've always thought about joining this line of work, but it just kind of accelerated after what happened to me. I'm excited about it."
"John has accomplished a lot in the game of hockey; he's an NCAA National Champion, he's represented the U.S. in the Olympics, he's played in the NHL, and he's been captain in the AHL," said Barracuda General Manager Joe Will. "John has helped set a standard for our young players, leading the Barracuda to the playoffs in all four years since the team relocated, helping prepare our young players for the next level, and showing them what it takes to be a pro. It's only fitting that he's now going to join our coaching staff and begin another chapter in his great career. We couldn't be more excited about him joining Chaser (Michael Chiasson) and Bones (Jimmy Bonneau) on our coaching staff."
"There is no player who has had more of a direct impact on our prospects and our American Hockey League franchise than John McCarthy," said Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson. "'Mac' has been a pillar for San Jose's American Hockey League franchises, first in Worcester and the last four-plus seasons in San Jose. While we're sad to see his playing career come to an end, we couldn't be more excited about his staying in our organization and joining the coaching staff of the Barracuda."
McCarthy, who was selected by the Sharks in the seventh round of the 2006 NHL Draft, holds all major Barracuda franchise records including games played (275), goals (62), assists (76), points (138), power-play goals (17), and shorthanded goals (5). He has served as the Barracuda team captain since 2016 and also served as captain of the Worcester Sharks for the 2012-13 season.
In 577 career AHL games with Worcester, Chicago, and San Jose, he has collected 297 points (130 goals, 167 assists), 233 penalty minutes and a plus-62 rating.
He also posted 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in 27 playoff games with the Barracuda over the past four seasons.
In addition, McCarthy skated in 88 NHL games with the Sharks between 2009 -2016, accumulating six points (three goals, three assists) and 22 penalty minutes.
In total, McCarthy appeared in 640 regular season games with San Jose's NHL and AHL franchises.
In 2018, McCarthy was selected to the United States Men's Olympic Ice Hockey Team, appearing in five games at the Pyeongchang Olympics.
Prior to his professional career, McCarthy spent four seasons at Boston University where he won a 2009 National Championship as one of the team's Co-Captains.