NHL veteran forward decides announces retirement at 33 years old

Published September 23, 2023 at 4:45 PM

After this offseason never yielded a contract, a veteran NHL forward is expected to be closing the book on his playing career.

As per new reports from TVA Sports, 13-year NHL veteran Derek Stepan has decided on retirement from playing, and will be beginning a new career in the front office of the Minnesota Wild. Stephan's role with the team has not been disclosed yet, but is likely in a special assistant role, similar to other older players learning the transition to the executive side of the NHL.

Michael Russo of The Athletic first broke the news of Stepan joining the Wild's front office. Russo shared the image below on Twitter, which shows Stephan meeting with the Wild's General Manager Bill Guerin, and wearing Minnesota Wild gear.

Stepan, still just 33 years old, was drafted in the second round, 51st overall in 2008 by the New York Rangers. He went on to be a mainstay in their lineup for seven seasons, and was a large part in the team's run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2014.

The Minnesota native went on to finish his career as a journeyman, spending time with the Arizona Coyotes, Ottawa Senators and Carolina Hurricanes in the latter years of his playing career. Still just 33 years old and not far removed from effective seasons, it's somewhat surprising to see Stephan retire this year.

In 890 career NHL games, Stepan recorded 182 goals and 333 assists for 515 points, along with 216 penalty minutes an impressive plus-98 rating. Stephan also played in 120 playoff games, tallying 20 goals and 55 points.

Congratulations to Derek Stepan on a great career in the National Hockey League and all the best in retirement!

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