Winnipeg Jets defenseman Grant Clitsome announced his retirement today due to lingering injuries that kept him out for the entire 2015-2016 season.
“It’s tough when something unexpected, and out of your control, suddenly ends your career.” Clitsome said. “Despite the circumstances, am very grateful to have had the opportunity to fulfil my childhood dream and play in the NHL.”
The Jets picked up the Gloucester Ontario native off waivers from the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2012. When he could stay healthy, Clitsome was an effective depth defenseman but injuries limited him during his tenure with the Jets. Clitsome saw some time on the Jets second power play unit from time to time and could move the puck quite well.
People can criticize Kevin Cheveldayoff for finding reinforcements sometimes solely though the waiver wire, but Clitsome was a solid grab off the waiver wire. You don’t see teams signing waiver wire acquisitions to three year deals so often, Clitsome worked his way in to a solid contributor.
It’s too bad Injuries kept derailing Clitsome, he had some attractive offensive upside for a bottom pairing guy and played well in elevated roles with Dustin Byfuglien.
What does this mean for the Jets?
Clitsome’s retirement doesn’t mean much to the Jets. Even if Clitsome was healthy, re-signed, and came in to training camp next season, there’s good chance he might have not made the team.
The Jets have become deeper on the back end with Josh Morrissey emerging and the team seems committed to playing Mark Stuart in a regular role.