With the sad news that he will be forced to hang up his skates, Derek Dorsett’s time as a Vancouver Canuck has come to an end.
One of the best stories of the season so far was Dorsett’s start, as the veteran forward was able to put up six goals and eight points in the first 10 games. This came on the heels of cervical disc herniation surgery in December of 2016, an operation that left many in doubt whether Dorsett would be able to play again.
Dr. Robert Watkins, who performed the original surgery, diagnosed Dorsett’s symptoms: “The latest evaluation of Derek's neck revealed that he's sustained a cervical disc herniation adjacent and separate to his previous fusion. Given his current condition and the long-term, significant health risks, I advised Derek not to return to play."
It’s heartbreaking news for the player and the legion of fans that had been inspired by his play. Dorsett was the most contentious player on the Canucks, a ready-in-waiting argument starter for the more analytically inclined writers and fans against those who favoured old-time hockey.
On a day like today, however, it’s hard to pick sides. Dorsett was successful this year, that much is impossible to refute. No, the underlying numbers aren’t pretty, but it doesn’t matter. Without Dorsett’s contributions this year, the Canucks’ record probably doesn’t have the 11 wins it currently holds.
Dorsett will be remembered as a heart and soul player who gave it all every shift. He gave Vancouver a classy goodbye in a statement through the Canucks organization.
Many of Dorsett’s current and former teammates tweeted their support for the forward.
All the best in the recovery, Derek.