Former Caps defenseman Poti calls it a career

Former Caps defenseman Poti calls it a career
May 1, 2014, 3:45 pm
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Tom Poti, a former Capitals defenseman who once said “a bad day in the NHL is a good day anywhere else,” has officially retired from the NHL.

An All-Star defenseman who won an Olympic silver medal, Poti played 14 seasons in the NHL including his final five with the Capitals.

“I was very fortunate to play in the National Hockey League for 14 years,” Poti said in a statement released by the NHL Players’ Association. “It was a dream come true and I had an awesome ride and met so many great people along the way. I’d like to thank my family and my wife and children for all their love and support.”

Poti, 37, played in 824 regular NHL games with four teams in his career, the Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers, New York Islanders and Capitals. He amassed 69 goals and 258 assists for 327 regular season points. Poti also played in one NHL All-Star Game [2003] and represented the United States in the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Poti signed with the Capitals in 2007 and last season was nominated for the Bill Masterton Award for dedication and perseverance to the game of hockey.

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In his first season in Washington, Poti ranked second on the team in average ice time [23:29], first in blocked shots [119] and second in points among defensemen [29]. In 2008-09, Poti averaged the most shorthanded ice-time [4:22] – fifth most in the league – and he recorded seven points in 14 playoff games.

In 2009-10, Poti recorded a career high in plus-minus [plus-26], ranking fifth among NHL defensemen.

Poti’s 2010-11 season was cut short by a pelvic fracture after just 21 games. The same injury forced him to miss the entire 2011-12 season and ended his career after a courageous comeback attempt last season, in which he played 16 games.

Poti’s international playing experience was highlighted by the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, where he helped the Americans win a silver medal. He also represented his country twice in the World Junior Championships [1996, 1997], winning a silver medal in 1997 in Switzerland.

He served as an NHLPA player representative in 2006 as a member of the Rangers and resides in Sandwich, Mass., with his wife, Jessica, and their two children.