Almost 4 years ago, I wrote a blog post about Paul Kariya. He was definitely always on my list, and, as I said then, my now husband knew that he was the only man I would ever leave him for. One of my goals in the blog post was to one day have one of my hockey sweaters signed by him. Now, I guess that dream won't come true.
I found out this week that Paul Kariya has retired from the NHL. I knew that he was still suffering the effects of post-concussion syndrome, and that is why he sat out the entire last season. I thought that with time he would be able to come back. He had in the past with neck-strengthening exercises and physical therapy, but I guess now the risk was too great. While I am happy that he won an olympic gold medal for Canada, I am sad he never won the ultimate prize in hockey, the Stanley Cup.
I haven't followed hockey in about 3 years, and I was really hoping this would be the year I would start again. I looked up his name to see what team he had ended up signing on with only to find he had retired. So there it is. Without a local hockey team (at least not one where I can drive less than 6 hours to see), I have no impetus to even follow the sport. Maybe one day I will again... but, I don't think there'll be another player I find as dynamic and exciting, who was always a great ambassador for the sport (two-time Lady Byng recipient).
I will miss you, Paul, but I think my husband might be sleeping a little easier... :-)