Coventry Blaze have confirmed the retirement of defenseman Steven Chalmers with immediate effect.
Chalmers has struggled with a leg injury this season and after consultations with top specialists indicated he faces a long term, intensive rehabilitation programme to return to full fitness, he has decided to step away from the game.
Blaze Chairman, Andy Buxton, said: “Steven has been a wonderful servant to the club and retires, fittingly as a Champion.
“He has played over 175 games for us and has been a fantastic person and a quality individual. He is so well liked by the management, staff and players.
“For such a young man, Steven has had a challenging year both on and off the ice and it’s easy to forget that he is a long way from home in Coventry.
“He feels that he wants to look forward now, go back home to his family and begin the next phase of his career.
“He knows that, as we have always done, we will continue to support and help him as much as we possibly can – he’s become one of our own.
“Even though he is very much at peace with his decision, it’s still very raw for him and he’s not emotionally up for big goodbyes right now.
“I know he is very popular with our supporters so we will try to find a time when things have settled down a little and we can get him to come back down to see us and have a proper send off.”
Chalmers joined Blaze for the 2012/13 season following spells with the Dundee Stars and Braehead Clan, and has made over 250 Elite League appearances in addition to playing for Great Britain U20 team.
“I just want to thank the whole Blaze organisation for giving me the opportunity to play for such a great club,” said Chalmers.
“I have really enjoyed my four years here and I can’t speak highly enough of how the Blaze have treated and looked after me, both now and throughout this time.
“I’ve made lifelong friends and I have memories that will last forever – especially winning the play-offs last season.
“I also want to thank all the Blaze fans and my sponsors for all their support and for making me feel so welcome in Coventry.
“It’s been a difficult decision for me, but I know it’s the right decision. It’s time to start looking forward, but I will never forget my time with Blaze.”
(Image permission: Scott Wiggins)