This is another installment in our rolling newsletter where we answer your newsletter questions on the blog during the summer. If you have a question, please send it in to firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: Hey Mike,
Any truth to the report on Sportsnet that Jere Lehtinen is ready to retire?
HEIKA: Hey Gregory, I talked to Jere today, and he said he has not made a decision and doesn't have a timeline on when he might make a decision. He has not been working out the way he normally does, so that might lead a person to assume that he is retiring, but Lehtinen, 37, said he has not made the decision to retire and that if he were to make that decision, he would want to be 100 percent sure he does not want to play hockey again.
Lehtinen has battled injuries throughout his career and has played in 48, 48 and 58 games in the past three seasons. He missed games last season with hip, groin, abdominal, foot, arm and knee injuries. Remember, though, that one of the seasons that he played 48 games, he also came back and had a great playoff run in 2008, scoring four goals and adding four assists in 14 playoff games.
Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk has not put a timeline on any decision to sign Lehtinen (whose contract has expired), so Lehtinen could potentially decide to play after the season has started and sign a contract at that time. That could be the best way to manage his injury problem at this time or it simply could be a practical way to allow Lehtinen some time to decide if he really wants to retire or not.
The only thing Lehtinen is sure of is that he will play for the Stars or he will not play at all. He's back in North Texas right now and his kids are in school, so they will live here all year whether or not he plays.
That's where we are on this. I don't think either Lehtinen or Nieuwendyk expects a decision any time soon.