Jason Smith retires from NHL
Rugged defenceman Jason Smith retired from the NHL on Wednesday after more than 13 seasons in the league.
Smith, 35, was joined by Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray in announcing the decision. The veteran still had one year left on a two-year contract he signed with the Senators, but decided it was time to call it quits.
Known for his leadership and determination, Smith scored 41 goals and racked up 128 assists in 1,008 games, with 1,099 penalty minutes. He also played in 68 playoff games in his career, recording 13 points.
The Calgary native was drafted 18th overall in the 1992 NHL entry draft by the New Jersey Devils. After spending parts of two seasons with the Devils, he was part of a six-player deal with Toronto in 1997 that saw longtime Maple Leaf Doug Gilmour head to New Jersey.
Smith would spend two seasons with Toronto, but it was with the Edmonton Oilers he had his greatest success. He spent over seven seasons with the Oilers — five as captain — developing a reputation as one of the league's best shot blockers.
Smith was captain of the Oilers when they reached the seventh game of the Stanley Cup final in 2006. He played 24 games during that playoff campaign, with a goal and five assists.
After a poor 2006-2007 season, Edmonton decided to rebuild, with Smith being sent in a multi-player deal to Philadelphia.
Smith was named captain of the Flyers just weeks after joining them. The club reached the Eastern Conference finals in Smith's lone year in Philadelphia.
He joined Ottawa last season. Smith was a respectable minus-3 on a mediocre Senators club, with his lone goal in an Ottawa uniform an overtime winner.
Smith said he will spend the winter in Ottawa with his family before deciding his next move.
The retirement clears up $2.6 million US for the Senators towards the salary cap.