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Change of heart: Prospal turns down Canucks’ offer, retires

Jan 24, 2014, 1:19 PM EDT

Yesterday, reports surfaced that veteran Vinny Prospal would be joining Vancouver’s AHL team in Utica on a professional tryout in the hopes of reviving his NHL career.

Today, he changed his mind.

The Canucks announced that Prospal has declined to join the Comets, and will retire. The decision comes just months after Prospal told the Columbus Dispatch he had no intention to retire, and was training in Europe with the intention of playing in the NHL again.

 

Prospal, 38, led the Blue Jackets in scoring last year with 30 points in 48 games. He wasn’t brought back after becoming a UFA in July, however, as the club opted to give its younger forwards an opportunity to play more (the club also brought in Nathan Horton via free agency).

The tryout with Vancouver made sense, though, as Prospal and Canucks head coach John Tortorella have a long history together. Prospal played under Torts in both Tampa Bay and New York, scoring a career-high 80 points in 81 games with the Bolts during the 2005-06 campaign.

Update: Here’s some insight into Prospal’s decision, from Utica play-by-play man Brendan Burke…

  1. elvispocomo - Jan 24, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    Fair enough.

  2. 2qswing - Jan 24, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    I hope he enjoys his retirement. I enjoyed watching him during his time with the Jackets. Worked hard and always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. Good example for the young guys. Thanks Vinny

  3. canada2014gold - Jan 24, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    He prob watched last nights game

    • nobandwagoners - Jan 24, 2014 at 2:42 PM

      Nah, that would have gotten him excited – there’d actually be a spot for him on the power play as the current crop of Nucks are painfully hopeless of late (assuming, of course, that he’d get called up from Utica).

  4. bwayblueshirt - Jan 24, 2014 at 3:21 PM

    Sad. I always like Prospal. What a great guy. Never heard a bad word about him. Gotta appreciate his honesty towards the ‘Nucks and the game. I hope he enjoys retirement.

  5. notmrknowitall - Jan 24, 2014 at 4:25 PM

    The Flyers sure draft well. To bad they rarely hold on to these type of guys.

  6. 950003cups - Jan 24, 2014 at 6:22 PM

    How does a guy like Jagr still, not only chug along, but lead his team? He’ll be 42 in a few weeks and he’s an integral part if the Devils.

    • barkar942 - Jan 24, 2014 at 7:43 PM

      Jagr has no family. Makes all the difference in the world.
      Answers to no one but himself.

  7. minwild42 - Jan 24, 2014 at 6:22 PM

    The guys a total asshole injured one of our high school hockey players and didn’t even care, glad he’s done…

  8. lightning69 - Jan 25, 2014 at 1:16 AM

    Best of luck to you and your family Vinny! Must be hard to wall away from the game, but gotta take care of yourself and your family. Tampa fans will always appreciate your time and effort. Still such a shame to miss out on the Cup year. Best wishes.

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