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Stephen Johns Announces his Retirement

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Former Dallas Stars defensemen Stephen Johns has announced his retirement from the game of hockey. Despite not having the most lengthy or successful career in the NHL he will leave a lasting impact on the game and his plans for after hockey will hopefully leaving a last positive impact on the world.

Stephen Johns NHL Career Overview

Following a stint at Notre Dame Stephen Johns NHL career began when he was drafted 60th overall by the Chicago Blackhawks. Johns never actually played for the Chicago Blackhawks as he was packaged into a trade to the Dallas Stars. The trade that sent Stephen Johns to Dallas happened in July of 2015. The trade details were the Dallas Stars acquiring Patrick Sharp and Stephen Johns and the Chicago Blackhawks Ryan Garbutt and Trevor Daley.  

Despite being just a prospect thrown in to help the Blackhawks unload Patrick Sharp’s rather large contract, Johns overcame the odds and became a valuable defenseman for the Stars. The number 28 for the Dallas Stars first made his appearance during the 2015-16 NHL season. He played 14 games during his first NHL campaign. He scored just one goal and also contributed two assists. In his second season in the NHL Stephen Johns got into the lineup more regularly as he played 61 games. He scored four goals to go along with the six assists he contributed. 

The most healthy and successful season of his career was during 2017-18. He played in 75 games and recorded career highs in goals, assists, and points. Eights and seven assists were the best totals he ever achieved in the NHL. Unfortunately, Johns suffered a concussion at the conclusion of the season that hindered him for the rest of his career. Stephen Johns missed the entirety of the 2018-19 season due to the concussion but he was back for the 2019-20 season. He returned toward the end of the covid shortened season and scored probably the most inspirational goal of his career.

The rest of his final NHL campaign included 17 games played that included two goals and three assists. 

His career totals came out to 165 games played over the course of four NHL seasons. He totals 15 goals and 18 assists for 33 points in his career. 

Life After Professional Hockey for Stephen Johns

Unfortunately, Stephen Johns’ career was cut extremely short thanks to concussion issues. He missed large portions of the 2017-18 and the 2019-20 seasons. He also missed the entirety of the 2018-19 season. The concussions gave him headaches and he is suffering from depression. He announced via Instagram and Twitter that he will be retiring from professional hockey and will go on a rollerblading trip across America to help people battle depression. He will be documenting his experience across the country to help share his story and help people with the same experiences that he has suffered from.  

Conclusion of Stephen Johns Announcing his Retirement

While it is sad to see yet another player have to retire due to complications from concussions it is a reminder that we still have a long way to go before we find technology safe enough that head injuries will be a thing of the past in all sports not just hockey. Advancements in helmets and other important pieces of equipment will be necessary for the continuation of professional contact sports.

Stephen Johns is doing what is best for him to stay healthy for the long term and will follow his goal to help other people suffering from the same experiences as his own. Hopefully, Stephan Johns can find success during his rollerblading journey across America and can create a positive and lasting impact on the people he affects during his journey. 


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Clancy Golden is one of the biggest hockey fans in the world. He loves writing and watching the beautiful sport of hockey.