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Habscheid retires from hockey

By Jim Olander, 12/21/12, 10:30AM CST

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Stampede defenseman decides to hang up the skates due to injuries

Sioux Falls, SD—The Sioux Falls Stampede announced today that defenseman Zach Habscheid has decided to retire from hockey due to recurring symptoms from concussions.

“Over the past three years I have had around six concussions,” said Habscheid.  “With this latest concussion my symptoms are not going away so I have decided it’s best to move on and live life and go to school. It was a very tough decision for me because I love hockey, but it is time for me to move on to  something else,” added Habscheid. 

The Swift Current, Saskatchewan native appeared in 15 games this season before being injured on November 30th against Des Moines. He recorded 11 shots and 41 penalty minutes while   skating with the Herd.

“It is tough to hear the news about Zach,” said Stampede head coach Cary Eades.  “He’s earned a lot of respect amongst the Stampede players and coaches in his time here. He is a very popular teammate and he will be missed. As someone who had his hockey career cut short by injury (broken neck), I can relate to his emotions he will go through as he transitions into the next phase of his life.”

Prior to joining the Stampede, Habscheid skated with the  Victory Royals of the Western Hockey League (WHL) in Canada.  His  father, Marc  Habsheid, was a draft pick of the Edmonton Oilers in 1981 and played 11 years in the NHL with the Oilers, Minnesota North Stars, Detroit Red Wings and Calgary Flames.

Habscheid plans to head back home to Canada this weekend. The Stampede are sad to see Zach go, but he will always remain a part of the Stampede family and the organization wishes him nothing but the best in the future.

“With his great attitude and work ethic, we’re confident he has a bright future ahead of him,” stated Eades. “We wish Habber all the best in his future endeavors.”

The Herd return to action this weekend when they host Tri-City and Cedar Rapids, tonight and tomorrow at the Sioux Falls Arena. Tomorrow, the first 1,000 fans through the doors will receive a free Stampede Santa Hat! Plus, Santa Claus himself will be at the game and fans will have the opportunity to get a photo with him before he heads up to the North Pole!