Take one more name off the unrestricted free agent list, as Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Calvert has decided to retire from professional hockey. Calvert has dealt with post-concussion symptoms over the last few seasons and played just 18 games for the Avalanche this year. According to the NHLPA, he is retiring due to a “career-ending injury,” though it does not specifically note the concussions.
In a statement, Calvert thanked those that have helped him along the way:
I’ve been lucky enough to play the game I love since I was five years old. I never played to make it to the NHL. I played to compete. I played for my teammates. I played for the fans. I played for my family. I played because I loved to battle, and I played to win. I dreamt of becoming an accountant when I was 18 years old and three years later, I was playing in the NHL…
Calvert will return to Brandon, Manitoba where he and his family live, and explains that he is still looking forward to skating on the outdoor rinks in retirement. The 31-year-old will end his career with 566 regular season games under his belt, all with with either the Columbus Blue Jackets or Colorado Avalanche. Calvert scored 95 goals and 203 points during those games, usually occupying a third or fourth-line spot and adding value on the penalty kill.
A fifth-round pick in 2008, the former Brandon Wheat Kings captain certainly carved out a long career in the NHL. From OHL star, scoring 99 points in his final year of junior, he successfully made the transition to depth player that so many fail to do. He would have likely been on many team’s radar if he was healthy and wanted to play next season, but instead he’ll hang up his skates.