Salo will soon be 41 and didn’t have a contract to play last season because of a wrist injury, which required surgery and kept him out of the game. Salo told Ilta-Sanomat that he was hoping that surgery would be enough, but it wasn’t and he’ll require another surgery on his wrist.
His final season will have been the 2013-14 season where he played 71 games for the Tampa Bay Lightning and got into six games for Team Finland at the Sochi Olympics, winning a Bronze Medal.
Salo’s retirement was expected as far back as last fall, with the surgery and his age combining to almost assure that he’d played his final NHL game. He struggled with injuries throughout his career, often playing through them, but they seemed to crop up frequently, keeping him from ever playing a full 82-game season.
Salo had a long NHL career, playing 15 seasons and 858 games split between the Ottawa Senators (who drafted him in the 9th round of the 1996 entry draft), Vancouver Canucks and Lightning. It’s impressive for any player to play that many seasons and only wind up playing for three teams. He made his NHL debut in 1998, working his way into NHL All-Rookie Team Honors for the year.
Over his 858 games he put up 99 goals and 240 assists. He also played an additional 102 playoff games, coming close to winning a Stanley Cup with the Vancouver Canucks in 2010-11, when they lost to the Boston Bruins in the Final.
His international career comes to an end with a Silver Medal and two Bronze Medals in the Olympics and a Silver Medal from the World Championships.
Watch a great moment in Sami Salo’s career, when score two goals in 16 seconds.
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Dustin Nelson writes about news and the Minnesota Wild for The Hockey Writers.