Life after the Game: The Retirement Announcement

Rod Brind’amour retires after 21 Years

How many people would like to announce to the world that they are retiring from there current position? My guess is a lot of people would feel pretty good about that. For a professional athlete and in this case a hockey player, it must be a day that they dread. Having attended the Rod Brind’amour retirement press conference, many feelings came to mind as to what that experience means to a hockey player.

Brind’amour 39, had an outstanding 21 year career that finished with the Carolina Hurricanes. His journey started with the St. Louis Blues, then with the Philadelphia Flyers, before calling the Hurricanes his final destination. He finished his career ranked 46th in NHL history with 1,184 points along with two Frank Selke Awards for top defensive forward and the captain of the Stanley Cup champion Hurricanes in 2006. Many will never forget his child like enthusiasm when raising the Stanley Cup in the 7 game series.

Known for his work ethic, leadership and fitness level, it’s been told that his Michigan St. hockey coach once padlocked the gym doors because he thought Brind’amour was overtraining. Last year at age 38, he had the highest fitness results on the entire team.

During the press conference, you could sense that this press conference was uncharted territory for him and may have been the shortest retirement announcement in history. Being in front of the media was routine of course, but in this instance, they were challenging words to produce. Not once did he mention the word “retirement”, only that he wasn’t playing hockey any more for the Hurricanes or anyone else for that matter. He added that it wasn’t so much what you see on TV the thing that he will miss, it will be the comaraderie with his teammates as well as the desire to compete. That was equally expressed through his eyes.

As man of action, Brind’amour shared that this wouldn’t change his routine of working out the next day. A point to which no one in the room was surprised to hear.

For some players, it’s not uncommon to seek appreciation and acknowledgements for their career accomplishments. In the following days, several media outlets, fans and former teammates expressed there appreciation for the man that will continue to be a role model for other current and future hockey players. Brind’amour was always one to deflect praise to his teammates and was the consummate pro.

Brind’amour will remain in the Hurricanes organization in some capacity which is yet to be determined. No doubt, he will bring the same work ethic and drive to whatever position that he is given in this new chapter of his life.

For many, this announcement to finish their careers would have been joyful.” This job is done and I’m moving on to rest and relaxation”, they might say. For an athlete, that announcement is a wave of emotions, almost a surreal moment, that may feel like it’s over in the flash of a camera. The blessing is that they were fortunate to be employed in game they love. The challenge is now it’s over and they may have to look for a job.


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