Veteran NHLer Willsie retires, joins Avs in player development role


Brian Willsie, who appeared in nearly 400 games over a 10-year NHL career, has retired from professional hockey to take a job with Colorado’s player development department.

The move, reported by Willsie’s last pro team — Orebro HK of the Swedish Hockey League — comes after the 37-year-old spent the last four seasons bouncing around Europe, playing in Finland, Switzerland and the KHL before finishing things off in the SHL.

Willsie, who scored a career-high 19 goals and 41 points in Washington during the 2005-06 campaign, was originally drafted by the Avs in 1996 and spent two tours of duty with Colorado during his playing career.

He will now reportedly work in a similar capacity to that of ex-Avs captain Adam Foote, currently serving as a defense development consultant.