The Columbus Blue Jackets got some shocking news on Tuesday when they learned that prospect Stefan Legein has decided to quit playing hockey.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, the Blue Jackets were informed of Legein's decision by his agent Doug Woods, telling them he won't be at training camp and has decided to hang up his skates at the age of 19.
Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson confirmed the report to the Dispatch but when contacted by the newspaper, Legein's mother said she hadn't heard the news while his father denied the report.
"Until September 20th (when training camp opens), he hasn't quit anything," Legein's father said.
In response to the speculation about his future, Legein offered the following statement:
"I'd like for everyone to stop bashing my father, my family, and me personally," said Legein. "My family has been amazing. They have supported me and never forced me to do anything and to say its their fault is ridiculous."
"Take the time to talk to me before you accuse me of being addicted to anything, even if it's coffee," Legein continued. "I realize you're going to speculate but please don't bash my character and especially my family."
Legein is a second round pick, 37th overall, of the Blue Jackets in the 2007 Entry Draft.
He registered 24 goals and 13 assists for 37 points with 80 penalty minutes and was a plus- 12 in 30 games with the Niagara IceDogs of the Ontario Hockey League this season. He ranked fourth on the club in goals and tied for sixth in points, while his eight power play goals ranked third and four shorthanded goals were tied for second.
Legein made his international debut with Canada at the 2007 Canada-Russia Super Series, scoring three goals in helping Canada wrap of the series with the championship. He also helped Canada win its fourth-straight gold medal at the Under-20 tournament in January.