Photo: Peter Holgersson
Success can be defined in a million different ways. It’s something we all desire, but there is no one way to measure it. To me, it’s all a feeling of satisfaction in what you are doing. Plain and simple. Are you happy doing what you are doing? If yes, welcome to success.
Shortly after Ian asked me to put together a few words on my move overseas, I stumbled upon an article written by former New Jersey Devils forward and long time AHLer Brad Mills. The article is called “The Bubble,” and it really got me thinking about the various directions we all end up taking to get to our final destinations as hockey players. I call it “the other side.”
Although I hate to think about the R-word, retirement is always just an eye injury away. The threat of being forced into the real world is at the tip of an opponent’s errant stick. In the article, Mills talks about his life on the proverbial NHL “bubble” where players take up residence when they are on the cusp of making it to the NHL full- time, or being a career minor leaguer. The term “yo-yo” is often used for players who spend year after year going up, then coming down, then going up, then coming down…get it? It’s often viewed as a negative thing, the bubble, but I happily lived there for the majority of my first 6-7 years as a pro. To me the bubble was a privileged place where somebody in a front office somewhere thought I was good enough to play in the NHL. And better yet, they felt that way frequently enough to call be back again and again and again. Sure, there were some tough days when I got sent down, and as a competitor you always want more, but I truly believed every time that I would go back up to the NHL one day. That made all my send downs a little easier. Looking back on those days now, do my mere 55 games played make my NHL career a failure?