Danish defenseman Jesper Damgaard has finally decided to hang up his skates shortly prior to the 2011 World Championships. At 35 years of age, Damgaard played 256 games for the national team and took part in no less than 17 World Championship tournaments. He scored 45 goals and 69 assists and was a steady, veteran presence on the blueline. He had suffered through numerous concussions throughout his career, the latest of which kept him out for much of the season in Malmö and finally convinced him it was time to go.
More than anyone else, Damgaard bore witness to the growth of Danish hockey and to the growth of the Danish national team to its current level. It was the development of a small closely knit group staying at low price motels and playing in cheap tournaments into the national team, which now plays in the A-group at the IIHF World Championships.
He played a large part in both and in recognition of his outstanding career and his loyalty to the team and Danish hockey, the Danish Ice Hockey Union has decided to retire his jersey number of 7.