Skip to content

Ex-Flyer Wellwood (severed Achilles) announces retirement

May 30, 2014, 7:14 PM EST

EricWellwood Getty Images

A gruesome skate cut ended Eric Wellwood’s playing career, but kickstarted another one.

On Thursday, the former Philadelphia forward announced his retirement at age 24, but also announced he’d be joining the coaching staff of the OHL’s Oshawa Generals.

Here’s more, from the Windsor Star:

“I knew for a while I wasn’t going to play,” said Wellwood, who was introduced Thursday at the [Oshawa] team banquet. “I didn’t tell anybody because I didn’t want to deal with it. I knew a long time ago I was done playing, I just didn’t know what I was going to do after the fact.”

A two-time Memorial Cup champion, Wellwood was drafted in the sixth round of the 2009 NHL Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers and appeared in 31 regular-season games and 11 playoff games with the club over three seasons.

When he made the decision to not continue playing, the Flyers offered him a position in the organization.

“I had a job offer with the Flyers before D.J. [Smith, Oshawa’s head coach] talked to me,” Wellwood said. “I didn’t take it because I didn’t want to make a decision so early and it worked out great.

“It was a player development and assistant coach job with the [AHL] Phantoms, but it wasn’t on the bench and the one thing I wanted to do is be behind the bench.”

In April 2013, Wellwood suffered a severe skate laceration to his ankle during an AHL game, one that sliced tendons and cut an artery in his calf, resulting in a “skate filled with blood.” He underwent two surgeries to try and repair his Achilles tendon — which was 70 percent severed — and three other tendons that were “completely severed,” per the Philadelphia Daily News.

The injury was supposed to sideline Wellwood for nine months, but the damage proved too severe and ended his playing career.

“It never fully recovered,” he told the Star. “I’m happy where it’s at, but I’m not able to perform at the level of a pro athlete. I can go hard one day, but not the next. I spoke to the surgeon and he said if kept pushing, I was going to hurt the outside tendons. You have to keep the good tendons.”

Latest Posts
  1. Report: Ben Bishop was hurt during warm-ups

    Mar 3, 2015, 9:24 PM EST

    Ben Bishop AP

    Tough start to Tuesday for goalies.

  2. Elias says Devils never approached him about a trade

    Mar 3, 2015, 7:29 PM EST

    Patrik Elias AP

    He says he’s happy to be in New Jersey.

  3. WATCH LIVE: Sabres at Lightning

    Mar 3, 2015, 6:29 PM EST

    Tampa Bay Lightning v Buffalo Sabres Getty Images

    Could we see an upset or a blowout?

  4. Phaneuf, Cuthbert and Lupul threaten lawsuit after tweet goes to air

    Mar 3, 2015, 5:33 PM EST

    Toronto Maple Leafs v Tampa Bay Lightning Getty Images

    Incident occurred during TSN’s trade deadline day coverage.

  5. Giordano: Surgery is ‘my only option at this point’

    Mar 3, 2015, 3:58 PM EST

    giordanogetty Getty Images

    Flames captain was holding out hope for a “tiny chance” he could keep playing.

  6. Yandle ‘can’t find a weak flaw’ in Rangers’ lineup

    Mar 3, 2015, 3:25 PM EST

    Keith Yandle AP

    Making it “pretty cool to be a part of.”

  7. Cole arrives in Detroit, delivers Benn’s apology to Zetterberg

    Mar 3, 2015, 1:32 PM EST

    San Jose Sharks v Dallas Stars Getty Images

    Ex-Dallas winger could open up playing alongside the Detroit captain.

  8. Video: Kessel says the way Toronto media treats Phaneuf is ‘embarrassing’

    Mar 3, 2015, 1:10 PM EST

    Toronto Maple Leafs Players During Practice Getty Images

    “Is it his fault we’re losing? No. Did he build this team? No.”

  9. Not dealt at deadline, Beleskey still working on extension with Ducks

    Mar 3, 2015, 12:28 PM EST

    Anaheim Ducks v Philadelphia Flyers Getty Images

    “Matt’s priority is to remain in Anaheim for many years to come. Hopefully we can make that happen.”

  10. Playoff watch — what the bubble teams need to do

    Mar 3, 2015, 11:56 AM EST

    Ottawa Senators v San Jose Sharks Getty Images

    Sens are making a run in the East, but it’s still the Bruins’ spot to lose.

Featured video

Reactions from NHL trade deadline
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. M. Giordano (3167)
  2. F. Andersen (3112)
  3. T. Seguin (3016)
  4. K. Okposo (2944)
  5. H. Lundqvist (2860)
  1. N. Horton (2812)
  2. B. Wheeler (2489)
  3. H. Zetterberg (2460)
  4. T. Hall (2420)
  5. P. Kane (2351)