Anders Nilsson retires due to post-concussion symptoms, necks problems

Ottawa Senators goaltender Anders Nilsson (31) stops Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Cam Atkinson (13) during overtime NHL action in Ottawa, Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019. (Fred Chartrand/CP)

Veteran backup goaltender Anders Nilsson is stepping away from professional hockey due to post-concussion symptoms and neck problems.

Nilsson announced his retirement Sunday on Instagram.

The 31-year-old from Lulea, Sweden last played in the NHL with the Ottawa Senators during the 2019-20 season. He was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Dec. 27, 2020, but never suited up for the club and became an unrestricted free agent this summer.

"My post-concussion symptoms and neck problems make it impossible for me to continue as a professional goalie," he wrote in the social media post. "Obviously not the way I wanted my career to end, but I got to achieve my dream as a kid to play in the NHL and represent my home country Sweden on the world stage.

"I would like to thank everyone who has helped me along the way and supported me through the ups and downs of my career. Also, a big thank you to the New York Islanders, Edmonton Oilers, St. Louis Blues, Buffalo Sabres, Vancouver Canucks, and Ottawa Senators organizations who gave me an opportunity to put on their jersey, as well as Ak Bars Kazan. I will always hold with me the memories of playing for those teams. A special thank you to my hometown team Lulea Hockey, who supported me from a young kid to a pro."

Nilsson was a third-round pick by the Islanders in 2009. The longtime backup goalie played seven seasons in the NHL with the Islanders, Oilers, Blues, Sabres, Canucks and Senators with a career 59-74-15 record. He also backstopped Sweden to the gold medal in the 2018 IIHF world championship.

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