Eric Wellwood nearly died last year when an artery in his leg was cut by a skate. He didn't play at all this past year, and he's now decided that he'll never play professionally again. Wellwood has retired from hockey and will take a coaching job with the OHL's Oshawa Generals.
We won't show the horrific photo of his blood-covered skate from that day back in April 2013, but if you want to read the story from that day, which includes the picture, it's right here.
Wellwood was back on the ice in September, just five months after his April injury, but he relied on his speed as his strongest asset at the NHL level, and when the injury robbed him of full skating strength, it probably spelled the end of his NHL dreams, too.
He told the Windsor Star that he had been offered a coaching job by the Flyers organization, in which he would've been an assistant coach focusing on player development with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. But he instead decided to accept the job in Oshawa because he'll be behind the bench there, a priority for him.
He also said that he's known for a while that his career was over.
“I knew for a while I wasn’t going to play,” said Wellwood, who was introduced [to the Oshawa Generals] Thursday at the 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.”
Wellwood finishes his professional career with five goals and five assists in 31 NHL regular season games, all with the Flyers. He registered zero points in 11 playoff games. He played 164 games with the Adirondack Phantoms, scoring 66 total points in those games. Back in February, we named him ranked him 21st in BSH's latest Top 25 Under 25 ranking.
Wellwood retires from the game at age 24.