Today, former New Jersey Devils defeseman Ben Lovejoy retired. A noted fan of The Office, he announced in a way that would make Michael Scott proud.
His legacy as on ice is a bit contentious, and we at Pucks & Pitchforks have published many a post with either concerned about him or supporting him. Sometimes we would debate if he was taking a lineup spot from a younger player, but always hoped for the best.
He was never an offensive force for the Devils, scoring a mere 23 points in 190 games wearing the red and black, but that was never his role. He did help the team acquire Connor Carrick, who looks to have a bright future in New Jersey.
His legacy off ice, however, is a solid one. Both the press and his own teammates loved him. He helped mentor Will Butcher as a rookie, playing alongside him and encouraging his growth. They were always advanced stats darlings, and were actually in the top five statistically last year in the first month as a pair.
Amanda Stein says he was the best quote on the roster. Whether it was good or bad, he always put his face in front of the cameras for the good of the Devils. He also became the first active player to donate his brain to concussion research. He’s only 35 and hopefully he has many more healthy years left, but somewhere down the line that’s going to make a huge difference.
Congrats on the retirement, Ben Lovejoy. Whatever comes next, we’ll be watching.