There comes a time in every hockey players career when decisions have to be made on your
So when is it time and what do you do after making the call?
Do you go when it feels right or ride it out till you get the tap on the shoulder?
It can come at any time, could be by age, injury or form but is there life after hockey?
The answer is yes but the future can take many forms.
In Australia, looking from the top down where does an AIHL player go when the centre stage
lights get switched off?
While some will choose to walk away and that’s fine, many will choose the coaching path. This
could be due to their own kids playing Junior hockey or a chance to put back into the club that
they took the ice for.
Another option can be dropping down to a lower competition and this has many benefits for
those who simply love playing.
Having a retired player of a high calibre playing in a local or state competition, benefits the
hockey community as a whole.
Young players coming through the system will get the chance to play along side players they
look up to, this can inspire people on the ice.
If the younger players are smart, they will be tapping into a wealth of knowledge built up
through the years.
Although a coaching role is fine, a playing role will benefit the young players by on ice tuition
that is hard to show on a whiteboard.
The on ice system of “you go here” or “get there and I’ll set you up” can teach players positional play and how to look ahead in game situations.
Knowledge is a powerful thing in Australian ice hockey and losing former stars to the game can be akin to burning your copies of Encylopedia Britanica.
Looking around rinks we have current and former players sharing knowledge and developing
the next batch of AIHL Superstars, and who knows, maybe our next player to hit the NHL.