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13 Responses so far.

  1. Karen Tresham says:

    Great story…

  2. Christoph Schopf says:

    Well done!

    Great decision!

  3. Hockeymom says:

    I loved the article written by Sutchy! No article has ever been truer! As I get ready to send my son to Canada to play hockey, I hope he keeps his passion, because that is why I believe in him. A lot of kids are talented, hardworking and smart, but my son has all of the above and the passion and love of hockey and that’s why I can let him leave the US , to try to set out to live a dream! It’s okay if it does not work out, but having the opportunity is a gift, and when you are given a gift you must open it up, it may not be what you thought it was going to be however if you never opened it you will never know! We all get jobs at 18,20 years old that are not what we thought it would be, but keep searching for the job you were meant to do. I have always loved my job as a nurse and I can get up every day and feel excited to go to work, sometimes it’s hard to go home! I thank you for the article that was written from your heart! Maybe you should be a writer!

  4. George Maris says:


    I am a hockey coach and have helped many players fulfill their dreams. Your story is very touching with highlights and of course the sad moments.

    There are players who even younger than you burn out because of the stress but for some reason the hockey bug is still within. They take a leave of absence for a year or so and then get re-energized and come back even stronger.

    You have an exceptional talent which many would love to be in your shoes. As you see politics hinder the life of athletes in sports, the same applies in the career world unfortunately.

    Don’t give up your dream Sutchy. Do it for your future children who will look up at you as a hockey god. See if you can pursue a career in the SPHL or ECHL or even the European leagues.

    You are blessed with talent and may need to retreat a for a bit to make your final attack to hockey utopia of playing professional hockey.

    I will keep an eye on you and pray that you come back and make us proud that you are another Canadian successful hockey player.

    • Trevor says:

      “children who will look up at you as a hockey god”. That epitomizes a big part of the problem.

      I’m as big a hockey fan as you get and grew up playing the game as much as possible. I’d do anything to get the chance to play for a living, but it wasn’t meant to be. Saying that, if Sutchy doesn’t want to pursue this just to be a grinder / fighter in the minors and maybe the NHL, he’s showing how smart he actually is. Get your degree and start a career. Don’t waste years of your life in the SPHL or ECHL “grinding it out”.

      Good on you Sutchy.

  5. Ross says:

    I played a long time but never had the opportunity to use my talent to my advantage and make a living from it. Instead I wound up in the corporate world, just another number on the payroll collecting a check. Politics unfortunately are a fact of life in the workplace. You can either be a part of the problem or control your own destiny and make sure to stay away and not become part of the problem. No matter where in life you might wind up, there is always going to be “that guy” who may hold issue with you whether it’s because of your personality or your job performance they’ll find some reason to make sure they make you uncomfortable during your job. Make the best of the problem and ignore it, move on and do what you do the best way you are capable of doing it. Show them you are the better person and you can learn from them how to make yourself stronger personally and emotionally. You have a gift many would trade their lifetime for to be in your position. There are professional hockey leagues all over the globe today who pay decent money which can provide you a living. In the end you are doing what you believe is the right thing to do. Just make sure you’ve made the right decisions, you don’t want to look back on your life 20 years later and ask yourself what might have been.

  6. Matt says:

    This is a good post but it’s nothing earth shattering. It’s the same message we have been getting for years from USA Hockey which is “don’t burn out” and “have fun.” So many of my youth teammates who were much better than me burned out and never made it past youth hockey. I played more because I didn’t burn out and still had a passion for the game. I played other sports as a kid and by the time it was time to specialize there was nothing I wanted to do more than hockey. I can understand why the type of pressure on a teenager that you experienced would lead to burnout though. A buddy of mine played in the WHL and a few other leagues over 5 years. He wasn’t the most talented guy but had the most passion and plays Canadian university hockey now. There’s a lot to be said for that pivotal time in a player’s life.

  7. Stephen Keisler says:

    Hey man I was in the same boat draft year and I even played with/against the same boys you did. I went NCAA route and it didn’t pan out either but the same political/injury bullshit happened to me. Gotta love the game first. If you ever want to get in touch shoot me an email.

  8. JD says:

    Your reflection really spoke to me because you put into words all the same stuff I experienced as I went through the levels. My story parallels yours in so many ways that I’m a little shocked at how common it might be. At this point, the most fun I have playing hockey is getting out on the ice just by myself, skating around a little bit, and blasting pucks from wherever. When you are ready, I would suggest starting there – hockey in its purest form. Good luck, man.

  9. J.E. Harper says:

    Every minor Hockey parent should read this .Our son was a goalie @ ages 14 & 16 we were approached to allow him to go to Wilcox Sask. I refused both times .He also quit hockey at age 20 and now has a career in media. After a 15 yr. absence , stated playing again for fun.

  10. Andy says:

    Great read, thanks for sharing!

    I had the same here in scotland. Granted, I was no where near playing professional, but politics even took over at amateur level and I hated it. I stopped for 7 years but I missed it!

    I went back this season at 29 y/old. I’m more tired and struggle to recover being out of shape ( working on it!) but my love for the game is back and I can’t wait for next season!

  11. Tanya Vick says:

    Thank you for this great and honest article. I truly appreciate your candor. I am passing it on to my 15 year old son and his buddies, all bitten by the hockey bug. I am hoping that they glean what they need to from someone who climbed that ladder only to find that the sky wasn’t as blue as it looked from the ground. I agree with you whole-heatedly…love what you do….whether it is pushing on in hockey no matter what, or keeping other doors open along the way in case you want to escape. Sometimes I feel that parents are the ones who want to see their kid live the hockey dream, not the kid himself. This article could also be a message to those parents too! Kudos for sharing your story!

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