Former Caps defenseman Tom Poti retires

May 1

(Rob Carr/Getty Images)

After 14 seasons, former Capitals defenseman Tom Poti announced his retirement Thursday through the NHL players’ association.

Poti, 37, spent the final five seasons of his career in Washington appearing in 230 regular season games and three playoff series from 2007-2013. He did not play in the NHL during the 2013-14 season.

The Capitals signed Poti as an unrestricted free agent in 2007 and in his first three years with the team he was a regular part of the top four. But then in January 2011, severe injuries mounted for the Massachusetts native.

Poti was sidelined by a fractured pelvis and chronic groin problems for more than two years. While he stuck with the trying, tedious rehabilitation process no one expected him to play again – including George McPhee, who said as much in 2012.

Against all odds, though, Poti arrived for training camp in January 2013 ahead of the lockout-shortened NHL season and appeared in 16 games that year. It wasn’t a perfect return – he missed time with a back injury, torn rib cartilage and was a healthy scratch – but that he managed to play again was an achievement itself.

“I was very fortunate to play in the National Hockey League for 14 years,” Poti said in a news release. “It was a dream come true and I had an awesome ride and met so many great people along the way.”

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