Bruins' Girard, unable to recover from accident, retires

Updated: November 30, 2005, 5:08 PM ET
Associated Press

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins defenseman Jonathan Girard retired on Wednesday, abandoning his comeback more than two years after he was seriously injured in a car accident.

"We were hoping that Jonathan would be successful in his comeback attempt," Bruins general manager Mike O'Connell said. "But his doctors have advised him that he is not physically able to compete at the level of professional hockey.

"The hard work and determination that he has shown over the past two seasons gearing toward training camp this year was truly an inspiration to all of us associated with the team. He is a courageous young man and we are thankful that, although he is unable to resume his hockey career, he has recovered from his injuries."

The 25-year-old Girard was a second-round pick in the 1998 draft and played his only full NHL season in 2002-03, finishing with six goals and 16 assists.

But during that offseason, he lost control of his car on a corner near Rawdon, Quebec, about 30 miles northeast of Montreal. The car flipped and landed in a ditch; it took emergency workers 45 minutes to extricate Girard.

He broke his pelvis in four places, along with his right hip and his neck.

Since then, Girard has tried to get back to the NHL. The Bruins brought him back to be in a team photo as they geared up for the 2004 playoffs.

"To see a guy that's gone through what he's gone through and fight as hard as he has to battle back," coach Mike Sullivan said then, "you can't help but be inspired."

Girard attended Boston's training camp this September and played in four exhibition games with the Bruins before his Sept. 29 assignment to the team's AHL affiliate in Providence. He played one game in the minors, on Oct. 15, before returning to Quebec to consult with his doctors.

In 150 career games, Girard has 10 goals and 34 assists.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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