Avalanche forward Matt Calvert, a pending unrestricted free agent, announced his retirement Thursday after a three-year run in Colorado.
Calvert, 31, played just 18 games last season with multiple injuries, including long-lasting concussion-related problems. He was on the injured list to finish the last three seasons of the AVS, each coming late to the second round of the playoffs.
“I’ve been lucky enough to play the sport I love since I was five. I never played it 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 fighting and I played to win. When I was 18 and three years later, I was playing in the NHL. I dreamed of becoming an accountant. My favorite parts of the ride were the locker room and the fans. Last year it wasn’t without the fans cheering us on. We feed them. The fans make the game special. My whole It was an absolute honor to wear the Columbus Blue Jacket and Colorado Avalanche jersey early in my career. I would bleed for those outfits any day. Thank you to the best parents in the world. You gave me your all for giving me the chance to play in the National Hockey League. Sacrifice something. You mean the world to me and I wouldn’t play a game without you. To inspire me to be the best I can be. Thank you my brothers. Thank you to my beautiful wife Kourtney, and my boys Casey and Beau for being my biggest fans. Thanks to my extended family for all the support. Thanks to every coach and GM who inspired me to be my best. Thanks to the wagons. Thank you to all those special people I met along the way. What a wonderful journey. I feel like the luckiest person in the world to have got this opportunity. I look forward to skating on the outdoor rink with my boys in retirement. I love you all!”