In a letter authored for the Players’ Tribune, retired NHL defenseman Sheldon Souray reminisced about the players, personalities, executives and family members that helped shape his playing career, which has officially come to a close.
He also discussed how he finally got his big break in hockey as a teenager, following a brawl during his minor hockey days in Alberta and how that led him to play in neighboring British Columbia.
I could thank a million more people for making my life so special. I knew this had been coming for a long time, but when I woke up the first morning after officially announcing my retirement, I definitely had a heavy heart. It’s not the spotlight that I’m going to miss. It’s the moments of tedium spent with the boys. When I’m 70 years old and looking back on this wild life, I don’t think I’ll get nostalgic about skating out in front of 20,000 people, as cool as it was. But I will get a little misty for the times me and a few of the boys broke curfew after a terrible loss in Minnesota and sat around the hotel room with a case of beer, trying to solve the world’s problems.
It went fast. It was a blast. I can’t believe it happened.
I was just a wannabe who got to be. What a ride.
Armed with a wicked slap shot, Souray played 758 regular season games in the NHL, scoring 109 goals and 300 points. He also played in 40 Stanley Cup playoff games, scoring three goals and 11 points.