Patrick Berglund has no regrets.
After abruptly ending his hockey career by walking away from the Buffalo Sabres a little over two months into the season, Berglund revealed the reasons why he betrayed and left the team in a poignant and exclusive interview with Hockeypuls.se from his home in Vasteras, Sweden. The story was published in Swedish on Friday and translated by Google.
"I just knew I had to go home to find myself again," Berglund said as he spoke for the first time since the Sabres terminated the final three-and-a-half years left on his contract last month.
The Sabres decided to terminate his deal after suspending Berglund on Dec. 15 when he failed to report for the game at Washington. Here are his comments, per Complete Hockey News.
"I had been feeling like shit. Money wasn’t making me happy. I feel much better today. My goal was to come home. This is my start on finding myself again – by seeing friends and family. I have taken help from other sources as well (Including the NHL and NHLPA). Now that I'm at home I feel safer, I can breathe.
"Hockey has been my whole life. For me, hockey is not just a job, but it is something that I have loved. If you lose it and feel incredibly bad, I do not see at all why you should be doing it.”
"I was suspended for disciplinary reasons because I was not showing up for practices and games. It was completely correct to shut me down.
“I want to say that I am very sorry that I left and betrayed Buffalo as a team. The players there were absolutely gorgeous and I wish every single player and organization all the best in the future. They have definitely not done anything wrong with me.”
Berglund admitted he lost some of his passion for hockey last summer after being traded to Buffalo by the St. Louis Blues. Berglund was the Blues first-round draft pick back in 2006 and spent 10 seasons in St. Louis. He was devastated and overly frustrated by the trade. He couldn't hide his emotions anymore.
Berglund didn't give away any indication regarding his future plans. He added he's not concerned about walking away from the remainder of his five-year, $19.25 million contract, reminding us that money does not make anyone happy.
While he has no regrets on pulling away from hockey, he did apologize to the Sabres and said his decision had nothing to do with playing for the franchise. Berglund however knows that ditching the NHL was the right call.
In 23 games with the Sabres this season, Berglund put up two goals and two assists. And that will be all...