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Primeau forced to call it quits
By TIMES WIRES
Published September 14, 2006
VOORHEES, N.J. - Keith Primeau still has his heart in hockey. It's the persistent fuzzy feeling in his head that's forcing the former Philadelphia Flyers captain to quit playing, according to the Associated Press
Primeau, 34, is retiring today after failing to receive clearance to play because of lingering effects of a concussion. Nearly 11 months after he suffered the brutal blow that cost him most of last season, Primeau has accepted the bleak reality that his career is over.
"Although he's been able to do more, he really hasn't been able to eliminate all of his symptoms," Flyers team physician Gary Dorshimer said Wednesday. "He's still having these symptoms, and I can't clear him to go back to full activity."
The Associated Press reported that Primeau was prepared to make an official announcement at an 11 a.m. news conference today at the Flyers' practice facility.
"I think he's going to talk about (retirement) with his family and others tonight," said Dorshimer, who examined Primeau "It's been a long road for him coming back from this."
The Flyers, who open training camp Friday, are ready to move on without Primeau.
"The last time I talked to Keith, I said, 'You don't want to become a distraction. If you can't play, we have to go on without you,' " general manager Bob Clarke said.
Primeau had been trying to return from a concussion sustained on Oct. 25 after a hit from Montreal's Alexander Perezhogin. It was the most severe in a series of head injuries Primeau endured during his 15-year NHL career.
He played in two more games after he was injured and was placed on injured reserve two days later.
"He never gave any indication to anybody that he was going to come back," Clarke said. "We felt all along that he wasn't going to come back."
Primeau, who has two years and more than $6-million left on his contract, missed 21 games because of a concussion sustained against the Rangers in the 2003-04 season.
AVALANCHE: Forward Andrew Brunette signed a one-year extension that will keep him in Denver through the 2007-08 season. Brunette, who has missed only one game in the past four years, had a career-best 24 goals last season, his eighth consecutive season with 10 or more.
BLACKHAWKS: Forward Tuomo Ruutu was re-signed to a two-year contract worth $3.75-million. The 23-year-old center was returning to Chicago from Finland and was expected to report today for the first day of training camp, team spokesman Jim DeMaria said.
BLUE JACKETS: Forward Anson Carter signed a one-year contract, two days before the team opens camp. He is coming off a career-best, 33-goal season with Vancouver.
ISLANDERS: Forward Viktor Kozlov, who had 12 goals and 13 assists in 69 games with New Jersey last season, signed a one-year, $865,000 contract. Also, goalie Mike Dunham and forward Richard Park will attend camp on a tryout basis.