Not everyone will play as long as Gordie Howe did. For most NHLers, the time to hang the skates for good will come during their thirties, some sooner than others.
We learn today that veteran defenseman Zbynek Michalec considers retiring from the NHL as soon as this year.
“There’s a chance I might play in Europe for a couple years and bring my family so they can experience the lifestyle there. It’s pretty good hockey and a pretty good living and it would be a pretty cool experience for my kids to experience both worlds and decide what I’m doing in the rest of my life once my career does end.”
Granted, he's playing in the AHL at the moment, but his contract with the big club in Arizona is still active. He will become UFA at the end of the season. The 34 years old considers his time in the NHL pretty much done and he considers maybe playing in Europe for some time. However, the big defenseman is far from being decided and it could go both ways.
He's not angry about his role in the minors and opens the door to a second career with the Coyotes or elsewhere.
“I have turned the page. I don’t want to burn any bridges. My career might come to an end soon and who knows, maybe there’s a job for me later on in the organization so I want to stay respectful to them because they have been treating me really nice. I know it’s not an ideal situation for them either, but they’ve always respected me.”
Anyhow, the chances of seeing him in the NHL are pretty slim. Thanks for your time and efforts, Zbynek!