Former Penguin, US Olympian Ryan Whitney retires at 32

Ryan Whitney has decided to retire at age 32. (USATSI)
Ryan Whitney has decided to retire at age 32. (USATSI)

Ryan Whitney announced Sunday, that at just 32 years old, he is retiring from hockey. He had signed on to play with MODO of the Swedish Hockey League this season, but lingering injuries forced the defenseman to call it quits.

A former fifth overall pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Whitney established himself as a high-end offensive defenseman early in his career. He spent four seasons in Pittsburgh before being dealt to the Anaheim Ducks during the 2008-09 season that ultimately ended with the Penguins winning the Stanley Cup.

Whitney established a career-high during just his second NHL season in 2006-07 when he put up 59 points for the Penguins. Injuries began to slow him down in the following years.

Whitney also spent time with the Edmonton Oilers and Florida Panthers while compiling 481 games of NHL action. Over that span, he put up 259 points.

He was also a member of the 2010 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team, where he helped the Americans claim the silver medal in Vancouver.

Here’s what the Boston native had to say about his retirement in a statement shared over Twitter:

Today I am retiring from the game of hockey. It’s impossible to put into words how much I love this sport. My mind has been flooded with so many amazing memories all day. From the early morning rides to the rink with my dad, to having the privilege of representing my country in the Olympic Games, it truly has been a wonderful journey.

Unfortunately my body broke down on me sooner than I had hoped. I’m 32 years old and you’re likely to find stronger and more stable ankles and feet on the residents at your local nursing home.

...It is remarkable how quickly it went by. There were many ups and obviously plenty of downs, but I wouldn’t change a thing because it all made me into the person I am today. I dreamt of playing in the NHL my entire life and it all became a reality. It was an honor and I’m forever thankful to everyone who helped make my dreams come true.

Whitney, who also starred at Boston University in his college days, last played in the NHL during the 2013-14 season. He spent last year with HC Sochi in the KHL, posting 19 points in 42 games. 

CBS Sports Writer

Chris Peters has been a hockey writer for CBS Sports since 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for numerous outlets and edited the United States of Hockey blog, covering the sport at all levels. Peters also... Full Bio

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