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Rangers' Beukeboom Retires


New York Rangers defenseman Jeff Beukeboom said Thursday he will be unable to resume his NHL career because of a series of concussions last season.

Beukeboom, 34, originally was injured Nov. 19 at Los Angeles when he was hit by Matt Johnson. He was hurt again in December and his season ended with another concussion on Feb. 12 against Carolina.

He has been under the care of doctors since then.

"Since the latest episode, from day one I've been on notice that it was quite possible I might not be able to play again," said Beukeboom, who played on four Stanley Cup championship teams, three with Edmonton and one with New York.

"The thing that is most glaring, the thing that makes it easy is that the Feb. 12 knock was quite slight, something you see most every night in the NHL," Beukeboom said. "My situation over five months, the symptoms have not subsided."

Just a few hours later, the Rangers signed forward Tim Taylor, who played for the Boston Bruins last season. He had four goals and seven assists in 49 games.

Beukeboom said he suffers from headaches and loses concentration in conversations. He has been unable to work out or do anything physical since the February injury.

"It's never an easy decision to walk away, but it's easier to walk away because of medical problems," he said. "I believe physically I could still compete. I know medically the risk I would put my family in."

"It's a medical retirement. I'm not able to come back and compete in the NHL the way I'd love to. Everything in the game comes to your health. My body is healthy. My mind is not healthy right now."

Beukeboom played in 45 games with nine assists and 60 penalty minutes last season. In 804 NHL games, he scored 30 goals with 129 assists and 1,890 penalty minutes.

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