Washington Capitals prospect Eric Mestery retires from hockey at age 20

It’s often difficult to attach the phrase “just like any job, really” to playing hockey (or any sport) professionally. After all, many of us grew up in backyards/frozen rinks/etc. dreaming of scoring the kind of goal Patrick Kane did to win the Stanley Cup.*

* – Although ours either went top shelf or five-hole in a much more dramatic – or at least in a more recognizable – fashion than the odd duck goal that sealed last season.

That being said, it ultimately can become “just another job,” especially when the player in question isn’t an automatic NHLer. Still, it’s pretty shocking to see a 2008 second round pick hang up his skates at 20 years old. That is the case of former Washington Capitals prospect Eric Mestery, a 6-5, 200 lbs. defenseman who decided that his passion for the game just isn’t there anymore. Bob Tory of the Western Hockey League’s Tri-City Americans made the announcement on Mestery’s behalf.

With his large frame and solid defensive skills, Mestery was drafted by the Washington Capitals in the 2nd Round (57th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. As a 16-year-old, Mestery was also a part of Team Manitoba, which took home a silver medal at the 2007 Canada Winter Games in Whitehorse, Yukon. Mestery will now turn his attention towards his education, as he plans to utilize his WHL scholarship and enroll in a post-secondary school.

“I talked to Eric yesterday and he informed me that the passion and commitment needed to play at this level was gone…that the game was no longer fun for him,” explained Tory. “Eric had asked that he not be traded, instead making a responsible and mature decision in regards to getting on with life after hockey. We wish him all the best in wherever his future takes him.”

It’s a bit sad to hear, but not everyone has the same level of passion for hockey. Then again, you always have to wonder if there’s more to a story like this. Best of luck to Mestery as he moves on with his (now non-hockey) life.

(H/T to Yahoo’s Buzzing the Net blog.)

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    No hearing scheduled for Burmistrov after Bergeron headshot

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    Winnipeg forward Alex Burmistrov isn’t in line for a disciplinary hearing for his elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron on Thursday night, an NHL spokesman confirmed to PHT.

    Burmistrov was tagged with an illegal check to the head minor late in the first period. Bergeron received a minor roughing penalty for retaliating on the Russian forward, but was able to finish the contest.

    Afterward, B’s head coach Claude Julien expressed frustration with the hit.

    “It will be interesting how that is being reviewed, and especially to an elite player in the league who’€™s had some [concussion] issues in the past,” Julien said, per WEEI. “I hope they look at it seriously. In my mind, I don’€™t see why there wouldn’t be further consequences [for] that.”

    Bergeron said that, while it was “definitely a hit to the head,” Burmistrov did come up to him afterward and apologized.

    According to sources of CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty, Burmistrov received a warning from the Department of Player Safety.


    After lopsided loss, Julien says it’s ‘not about the young D’

    Claude Julien

    The Boston Bruins’ young, makeshift defense failed to come through Thursday night as the B’s were thumped, 6-2, on home ice by the Winnipeg Jets.

    Without injured veterans Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, the defensive pairings were as follows:

    Torey KrugAdam McQuaid
    Joe MorrowKevan Miller
    Matt IrwinZach Trotman

    And let’s just say, turnovers were a factor:

    That was Irwin getting checked off the puck there.

    “I had the puck behind the net, and I went to one side of the net, and then I just didn’t use the net to my advantage,” he explained afterwards, per CSN New England. “He got his stick in there, obviously stripped me of the puck, and we all know what happened after that. I take full blame for that one.”

    But head coach Claude Julien wasn’t willing to blame inexperience for the poor outing.

    “It’s not about youth. It’s not about the young D,” said Julien. “It’s about our game without the puck. I think we might have gotten a little excited here about our offense and forgot about the other part of our game.”

    And to be fair, even Boston’s more accomplished d-men had their challenging moments.

    Here’s Krug failing to get position on Nicolas Petan in front of the Bruins’ net:

    All in all, it was a tough night.

    “We’ll correct those [mistakes] tomorrow in practice,” said Irwin. “We’re a confident group in here. We liked our offense. We liked the chances we were getting. All those mistakes, D-zone, are something that we’re going to work on and get better every day.”

    The Bruins host their rivals from Montreal on Saturday.