MacInnis ready to end his career

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:07 AM ET

A second future Hall of Fame defenceman has retired this week, with Al MacInnis set to make an announcement this afternoon in St. Louis.

His career has been on hold since his left eye was severly damaged by an accidental high stick on Oct. 16, 2003. Despite prolonged hope for recovery, he barely has been able to see without the aid of a contact lens.

MacInnis, 42, played for the Calgary Flames beginning in 1981-82 and won a Stanley Cup there in 1989. He logged nearly 10 years with the Blues and ended as a seven-time NHL all-star with a Norris Trophy to his credit in 1999, as well as a gold medal with Canada at the 2002 Olympics.

He was best known for his slap shot, clocked at more than 100 m.p.h., which helped him rack up 379 regular-season and playoff goals, 192 of those on the power play. His 'victims' included goaltender Mike Liut and ex-Leaf Gary Leeman.

"There's hard and then there's Al MacInnis hard," Liut once said after a MacInnis rocket bounced off his head and into the net. "I tried to get out of the way. If it happens too often, you have to sit down and re-evaluate what you're doing with your life."

MacInnis, who was born in Inverness, N.S., has enjoyed coaching in St. Louis at the junior level and it's believed his family will settle in St. Louis.

Earlier this week, Scott Stevens ended his 22-year NHL career at age 41, wishing to spend more time with his family after completing a lengthy recovery from a concussion. Twenty-year veteran defenceman James Patrick also retired yesterday, his most recent stop with the Buffalo Sabres.


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