Tyler Hirsch, Minnesota’s leading scorer last season, will apply for a medical hardship waiver for personal reasons and miss the remainder of the 2005-06 season, the school announced Thursday.
“This was not an easy decision, but one that I feel was the best decision for both myself and the team,” Hirsch said. “I will use this year to concentrate on other aspects of my life, but I plan on returning to the team next season.”
Hirsch, who is a senior this year, would be allowed to play the 2006-07 season if the waiver is approved.
“We’re certainly going to miss having Tyler in the lineup this season, but we fully support his decision to take the year off and apply for a medical hardship waiver,” Minnesota head coach Don Lucia said. “We look forward to his return next season.”
Hirsch, a native of Bloomington, Minn., had two assists in two games this season.
The forward led the team in scoring with 11-33–44 in 2004-05, a season which saw him in the spotlight during the WCHA Final Five in St. Paul, Minn., last March.
After a semifinal loss by Minnesota, and with the ice cleared of players and officials, Hirsch stayed on, placed a puck at center ice, and skated in alone on an empty net. He fired a slapshot from 10 feet out, went into the crossbar and into the end boards along with the net. He then skated to center ice, placed his stick on the red line, and left.
After that incident, Lucia alluded to personal issues Hirsch was experiencing. It was not immediately known if Hirsch’s waiver request for 2005-06 is in any way related.