Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Steven Legein Retires ... at 19

by Jes

A 19-year old man retiring from professional/amateur hockey is not that unusual. Many prospects that have no real shot of doing much in the pro hockey world do it all the time, opting for University or a career in the 'real' world. Why ride buses for days on end to make $30,000 a year when you can make double that with far less travel?

When it is a promising 2nd round prospect with no history of major injury? That IS unusual.

Via FanHouse: Stefan Legein, a 2007 second round draft pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets who is just 19, has retired from professional hockey. I'm sure BJs fans are quite stunned rightaboutnow.

The reason: He just didn't want to play anymore. It's that simple.

Legein seemed to be on the path to a potential NHL career, and, if you go through the FanHouse post, you see that Legein certainly didn't appear unhappy. The BJ's certainly had big plans for the kid, and you know that the team desperately needs some of its prospects to pan out.

My first instinct, naturally, was to think "What a waste!". I can understand being in a funk, but why waste so many years of training and development when the potential for big $$ exists. Of course, that is merely me projecting my own interests and attitudes on someone I have never had any contact with.

I know that some BJ's fans are probably pissed at the kid for quitting so soon, especially given the team's need for actual talent. It's been a hard few years for fans of the club, and the last thing they need is one of their top prospects bailing on them.

As Adam Proteau of The Hockey News notes, we ought not to vilify the kid for his decision.

I hope the young man isn’t vilified for his decision. Who among us hasn’t had doubts in our late teens (or for that matter, well beyond that age) about our direction in life? Legein’s biggest problem is he has been in a line of work that receives so much publicity and adulation most casual observers assume he should be down on his hands and knees in gratitude for the opportunities he’s been afforded.

Exactly! I know I changed career paths and desires at 20, opting out of a potentially lucrative career as a software designer. I hated (and still do) computer programming and computer science, and I never imagined how utterly dull it would be when I signed up for a program.

I left after a year, and found myself choosing Accounting and Finance. Yes, the money isn't as good, but I'm much happier with myself.

Now, I can imagine that this young man had the same kind of "voila!" moment that caused him to say, "I really don't enjoy all of this hard physical training and I don't enjoy playing highly competitive hockey enough to continue on". Yes, playing hockey is fun, but when it is your job? Maybe not so much.

Oh, and score one for bloggers (Bethany's Hockey Rants, a title she kinda *cough*stole*cough* from us) for breaking the story!

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Blogger Bethany said...

I promise I didn't find out about your blog title until like a week after I entered the blogosphere!! I'm not too happy about the Stefan thing.

20 August 2008 at 13:01  

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