I wanted to write something meaningful about retirement, something that would cover my whole career. Something honest about the ups and downs of being a professional hockey player. But I can't really find the words right now. Maybe it hasn't set in, or maybe it’s just been too busy getting started on this next chapter to really think about it…
After giving everything I’ve had to this sport for over 20 years, retiring certainly wasn’t an easy decision. The fact that we'd be leaving Scotland made it even more difficult.
When I first signed two years ago, I was hesitant. Sarah was pregnant with our second baby, and I had no idea how we would adapt to raising our family overseas. I didn't really know what to expect, what the atmosphere would be like for a small hockey team in a soccer country. I really couldn’t believe the support the team received from the community, and we found it a great place to raise our family. The people there made us feel like Scotland was our second home, and we will be eternally grateful for that.
I'll always think I had more to give to my team these past two seasons. A large part of me wanted to recommit to my training to come back for another year and finish on a higher note. But few hockey players close out their hockey careers with a win. It's just a part of the job. And retiring was never going to be easy, not this season or three seasons from now...
In the end, it’s hard work being a hockey player. It takes a tremendous amount of time and energy to stay at your peak and, as I get older, the costs of those sacrifices begin to outweigh the benefits of playing another year. I couldn't come back knowing that I might not be able to give all I have to the game. Not to mention, despite everything we loved about Fife, it’s not an easy task to move a family of four overseas every year. It's time to give our boys a permanent home, to be around our families for the whole year instead of just 4 months. I’m excited to start a new career and a new life outside of hockey.
There are so many people I could thank for helping my family over the last two years. I will end by thanking my coaches for giving me the opportunity to play in Fife and the fans for all their unwavering support. I couldn't have asked for a better place to play. The Flower of Scotland will remain our three-year-old's favorite "hockey song", and Fife will always have a special place in all of our hearts.