Mike Green of the Oilers, Roman Polak of Stars among players who retire from the NHL


Saturday, Mike Green of Edmonton, Steven Kampfer of Boston, Sven Baertschi of Vancouver, Roman Polak of Dallas and Karl Alzner of Montreal joined the list of players who will not show up at training camp for the resumption of the NHL season.Following an agreement to resume the season on August 1, they joined Calgary defenseman Travis Hamonic among the players who chose not to participate in the extended playoffs of 24 teams.

“Due to the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19 and after careful consideration, I decided, for very personal family health reasons, not to participate in the return to play,” Green said in a statement. After a Detroit swap, the defender played two games for Edmonton before injuring his right knee.

Kampfer, who has played 10 games with the Bruins this season, said his wife and son have a congenital heart defect that could lead to complications with the virus and called it “one of the most important decisions difficult ”that he must have taken.

Baertschi, who has spent much of this season with the miners and has a contract until 2020-2021, told the Canucks that he would step down.

“Sven informed us last night that he had opted out of the NHL return to play program,” said Canucks general manager Jim Benning. “It was a difficult decision but ultimately a decision that we respect and understand.”

Defender Alzner, who has played four games with the Canadiens this season, informed the organization on Saturday that he has decided to withdraw from phases 3 and 4 of the NHL return to play plan.

Polak is a pending free agent who last month accepted a deal in his native Czech Republic next season and told reporters that he has no plans to return to the NHL if play resumes.

Players have until Monday to notify their teams of their withdrawal. Under the NHL and NHL Players’ Association agreements, players will not be punished if they choose not to play this summer, and they do not need to state a specific reason.

Hamonic has become the first player to publicly choose not to play amid the coronavirus pandemic. Hamonic’s daughter was hospitalized last year for breathing problems, and he and his wife also have a baby boy.

Their health problems, not the imminent 30-year looming free agency, led him to withdraw.

“I wish I could put on my skates and fight, block a shot and help my team win, but my family is and will always come first,” said Hamonic. “Being the father of my grandchildren every day is the most important job I have. I love this game and my team. It is a decision that is extremely difficult for me to make. ”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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