Johns, who has spent the past several years dealing with post-concussion trauma, says he plans to rollerblade and road-trip across the country in an effort to help inspire others who are fighting their own battles.

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — While Stephen Johns may be stepping away from the NHL and hanging up his ice skates, it seems as if he’ll be trading those in for skates of the roller variety — with a good cause in mind.

On Sunday, Stephen Johns, a native of Wampum in Lawrence County, announced he was retiring from the National Hockey League. (Note: offensive language in social media post.)

In a social media post, Johns took the time to explain that the realization that his NHL career has come to an end has had an effect on his identity.

He says that what he will miss the most is inspiring others, and says that he has decided to rollerblade and road-trip across the country to help others facing their own battles.

Johns, a 29-year-old defenseman, played for the Pittsburgh Hornets youth hockey team in the mid-2000’s before attending the University of Notre Dame and being drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010.

He would make his way through minor hockey over the years before breaking into the NHL with the Dallas Stars.

Johns would miss significant time over a two-year-period due to post-traumatic migraines following a concussion during the 2017-18 campaign.

He would return to the lineup for the Stars early in 2020, contributing for a few goals and assists each before the season was paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before the current 2020-21 campaign began, the Stars announced that Johns would be ruled out for the entirety of the season.

Johns finishes his NHL career with over 150 NHL games played and 33 points during his time in the league.