Often times we put hockey players on a pedestal and in these scenarios it can be difficult at times for fans to remember that underneath the name on the back of the jersey is a real human being with their own unique set of quirks and preferences and that we can get people of literally every type in the world of sports.
That's why for so many people it has been difficult to grasp what has happened to former National Hockey League defenseman Kim Johnsson, a Swedish born player who spent several years in the NHL but vanished after a Stanley Cup Winning season with the Chicago Blackhawks. Johnsson was originally drafted in 1994 by the New York Rangers when they selected him in the 11th round (294th overall) of the 1994 NHL Entry Draft and he would go on to have a very respectable career. After two seasons with the Rangers Johnsson would play 4 seasons with the Minnesota Wild and 4 seasons with the Minnesota Wild before eventually playing just 8 games for the aforementioned Blackhawks. All in all Johnsson would play a whopping 739 games, much more than a blip on the radar, which is why his sudden disappearance left so many asking questions.
Johnsson's time with the Blackhawks was cut short as a result of a concussion he suffered against his former team, the Flyers, in just his 8th game with the Blackhawks. Following the concussion Johnsson vanished off the face of the map despite the efforts of many reporters trying to track him down, but it now sounds like his vanishing act may have been a very deliberate one. Blackhawks insider Scott Powers of The Athletic managed to get a very short comment from Johnsson after multiple failed attempts at phone calls to old numbers and emails to old accounts.
I tracked down another potential email account for Johnsson and sent a message. Eight minutes later, a reply arrived. It read, “Hi Scott. I’m not interested. All the best! Kim Johnsson.”
A few days later, Falkman [Johnsson's agent] returned a message too and wrote, “(Johnsson) asked me kindly, but firmly to tell you that he, and his family, has no wish to be back as a public person. He/we hope/s that you respect his wish to remain a private person, outside the media world. Thanks for your understanding.”
Although we as fans may want to know what happened to former players who walked away from the sport following their careers, it seems as though some players would just prefer to be left alone.