Thursday, December 10, 2009

WHL: T-Birds' D-Man Chaffin retires from hockey

(Photo Courtesy: Seattle Thunderbirds)

The Seattle Thunderbirds are losing one of their tough defensemen.  Steve Chaffin has decided to retire from hockey.  In a news release from the team, Chaffin said, “I have enjoyed my three years with the T-Birds but after suffering multiple concussions, I have decided not to risk further injury.”

Chaffin’s latest injury came during a very physical match against the Kamloops Blazers on October 20 at ShoWare Center. During the first period, he took a hard hit that sent him crashing into the boards. He left the ice and did not return.

T-Birds General Manager Russ Farwell is sad to lose his big d-man. “Steve was a valuable member of our team and will be missed,” he said in a news release. “But this decision is in his long term best interest and we support his decision and wish him well.”

Chaffin played 17 games this season and posted 5 assists and 21 penalty minutes. He has a +/- rating of +1. In his 3 years with the T-Birds, Chaffin played a total of 100 games and registered 7 assists.  He also racked up an impressive number of hits and defensive plays.

He will take advantage of the scholarship program offered by the Western Hockey League (WHL). Says Farwell, “Steve will take the rest of this year to determine his field of interest and will move on to make use of the WHL Scholarship.”

WHL players who are not drafted by an NHL team or signed to a pro team after completing their 20 year old seasons can elect to go to college, fully paid for by the WHL, for each year that they played in the league. Hundreds of colleges and universities take part in the WHL scholarship program.

T-Birds fans will sorely miss Chaffin manning the blue line, but surely wish him good health and good luck in whatever he decides to tackle next.

For more information on the Seattle Thunderbirds, their players, schedule and special events, click here.
To learn more about the WHL and its programs, click here.

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