Paul Ranheim played in the NHL for 15 years. Seven of those years were with the Carolina Hurricanes franchise. He spent four years in Hartford and three right here in Carolina. One of the hardest thing he ever had to do? Decide when to retire.
One of his quotes:
Most NHL players will keep playing the game, till they cut your skates off you.
Sean Mitton, our friend who heads up the Canadian ExPat Network, caught up with Ranheim recently and interviewed him for Mitton's excellent "Life After The Game" feature.
Mitton explains in his initial article that the average life span of an NHL player is less than 5 years. Obviously, most do not retire rich and famous, although approximately 30% stay involved in the game of hockey.
Ranheim went in a different direction. After getting a Degree in Economics from Wisconsin, the former Hurricanes winger initially got into homebuilding after retirement, but now he has a stake in a software company. He reflected about why it's tough for some players to retire.
"A lot of guys have played 10-15 years even before they make the pros. You miss your teammates and the routine of the game. We follow like lemmings," Ranheim jokes. "After your career, you have to create your own routine."
Of course, it's much more complicated than just being labeled "selfish" when a player delays his retirement. Quite frankly, playing hockey might be the only thing they know how to do.
Duncan Fletcher, Executive Director of "Life After The Game" explains:
"This transition for NHL players can have multiple issues that can include everything from changes in finances, daily routines, to missing teammates, competition and playing the game. Any time you leave something that you've done most of your life, it's not easy," Fletcher emphasizes.
Asked why players don't take advantage of his services earlier in their career, Fletcher responds with a quote from one of his clients,
"Why would you want to talk about your own funeral?
Glove tap to Sean Mitton for the heads up about his article. We will be watching for updates in the future.