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.)