As the offseason in the National Women’s Hockey League continues, we will see the Metropolitan Riveters sign many players. However, with every acquisition comes a departure due to someone signing with a new team or retiring. Today, it has been announced that defender and Captain Ashley “Stretch” Johnston has retired from hockey.
The 25-year-old defender came into the league during the inaugural 2015-2016 season and was elected the Riveters first ever captain—a role she held for her entire career. In 54 career games, Johnston tallied 13 points (four goals nine assists). She had four surgeries over her three seasons playing hockey so needless to say, it was a roller coaster ride for stretch. She was a player who was loved by everyone she played with, and she exemplified what it meant to be a team captain.
Johnston was one of only four players from the inaugural team on the championship roster. Bray Ketchum, Kiira Dosdall, and Madison Packer all joined the league during its inception, and only Packer has publicly stated interest in returning for 2018-2019. This also now leaves the Riveters without a captain for the time being. It will be interesting to see who gets named the new leader. Having said that, we should not expect this announcement for quite some time as Metropolitan needs to re-sign more players than just Amanda Kessel.
There are a lot of potential candidates to succeed Johnston like Kessel or Packer, as they both show great leadership skills on and off the ice, which is perfect when being the captain of the Riveters.
You can view Johnston’s goodbye letter here.
Be on the lookout for more Riveters news throughout the offseason.