The National Hockey League will soon be losing one of its most influential figures, except in this case it is neither a player nor an executive in the league. No I am instead talking about legendary hockey analyst, journalist and insider, TSN's very own Bob McKenzie. On Monday morning McKenzie took to social media to announce that he would begin transitioning towards retirement and although he is not leaving us just quite yet I would be lying if I said this felt like anything other than goodbye.
Mckenzie, widely viewed by many as the most credible insider the sport has ever had, revealed that this had been his final season as a full time analyst and indicated that he would be moving into a much reduced role for the time being. I say for the time being because based on the way McKenzie himself describes the situation it really does sound like he is looking to move on to something new.
For the sake of preserving his message here it is unedited and in full"
Today is the last day of my working life as I have know it for more than 40 years - not as much the end of the road as it is a move into the slow lane.
It's been quite a ride, too.
I've been talking about and planning semi-retirement for quite some time. The 2020 Stanley Cup final in June was to be my last. July 1 was to be my final day of work as a 24/7 Hockey Insider, who has to varying degrees been chasing stories, leads, tips, rumours, jobs, a career, and whatever else made sense to me on any given day since graduating from Ryerson's journalism school in 1979.
But along came COVID and, well, who among us expected 2020 to unfold as it has?
So after tonight's NHL draft lottery, I'm going to sit out the balance of the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs. I've got a few weeks of vacation time coming before my existing contract with TSN expires in early September.
This isn't goodbye as much as it is, see you later. As reported in the spring, I have a new five-year contract with TSN. I'll still be kicking around some but not nearly as much.
I'll still be doing TSN's draft rankings three times a year. I'll still be covering the World Junior Hockey Championships annually for TSN. I'll still turn up on TSN's NHL Deadline Day Trade Centre and Free Agent Frenzy. I'll still be doing a handful of Toronto Maple Leaf regional games for 20-21, whenever it gets going.
I'll still be showing up on NBC Sports - some mid-week NHL regular season broadcasts as well as the 2020 and 2021 NHL drafts - for another year, too.
So you can't get rid of me that easily. But whatever it is I've been doing for parts of give decades, it's not going to be the same day after today.
There are fat too many people to thank I won't even try. At least not individually. You know who you are and how much you have meant to me, personally and professionally, especially my TSN family.
And to anyone who has ever read or listening or viewed or consumed or loved or hated any of my work, thank you, too. It's been an honor to try to be of some service.
I turn 64 in six days, I'm excited to b starting a new chapter in my life.
Memento Mori, as the saying goes.
So thanks again for being along for the ride. See you down the road a bit.
Peace and Love.