Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Losing Legein

Just wondering if you've had a chance to view the following story about Legein's premature retirement from hockey. (More bad news for Blue Jacket fans.)

Is there anything in the CBA or elsewhere that provides compensation to teams for this sort of thing? Or is it assumed the teams have accurately assessed the prospect's commitment to hockey during the vetting process?
— Conrad A.
Unfortunately for Columbus, there's no compensation for players taken after the first round. Here's the relevant section from nhlscap:
Under the current CBA, the only compensatory picks are for those players drafted in the 1st round who are unsigned when their rights expire. Teams who have such picks receive a compensatory pick in the 2nd round at the same position in the round as the player drafted who was lost, with all other normal picks moved back one spot. No other compensatory picks are allowed.
The Blue Jackets will suspend Legein and continue to hold his rights, hoping he decides to return at some point. As Blue Jackets beat writer Aaron Portzline notes, something similar happened with Flames prospect Dan Ryder last season and he ultimately ended up back with their minor-league affiliate.

It's a difficult jump from junior hockey to the pro ranks, even to the AHL level, and I can see why some players might be intimidated. Legein's had some injury concerns and he's had to play so much hockey — at the expense of all else — for a long time now.

My guess is he's simply burnt out.

UPDATE Lowetide has more, including the tale of Robin Sadler.

I've seen others bring up Victor Oreskovich (also from Oakville) and Brandon Regier as young players who have recently walked away from the game.

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At 11:48 a.m., August 20, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today's young players are under so much pressure that this could become more common in the future.

Parents live through their kids more than ever, there's more games, there's more media etc.

Drugs, alcohol, bad behaviour, even suicide are side effects which can be seen for example in Japan where pressure in school is beyond understanding.

Hockey or any other sport is not different. Pressure is pressure and too much of it will blow the lid off.

At 11:48 a.m., August 20, 2008, Anonymous Anshu said...

Is this a real retirement or a "I need a few months off because I'm burned out, so I'll retire now then un-retire in January" to which Columbus said "we understand, we'll officially suspend you for now, take care of yourself".

If he's really retiring forever, I suspect he'll eventually come to regret this choice.

Even a couple seasons in the NHL would probably net him as much as he'd likely earn in 10-15 years in a more conventional occupation.

So even if he wanted to do something else, playing hockey for a few years could set him up for life. While still in his early 20's, he'd be able to pursue whatever other interests he may have.

At 11:53 a.m., August 20, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Legein was in no way guaranteed to make the NHL, and could have been looking at a few years in the minors to prove himself. If he's not up for it, mentally, I imagine it'd be impossible to work your way into the NHL from that spot.

And he can always change his mind.

At 12:02 p.m., August 20, 2008, Blogger Derek from Cloud9 Sports said...

I heard about the surprise retirement of a prospect on the radio, but missed the name. Wow, Legein seemed like a great prospect and kid that was on the level. This decision is his own ultimately (which makes his Dads' comments amusing).

At 12:20 p.m., August 20, 2008, Anonymous BDH said...

Wish I could temporary retire from my job until January.

At 2:07 p.m., August 20, 2008, Anonymous dvc said...

I remember the Flyers had a promising young player in the '80s who abruptly retired from hockey to pursue a pro golfing career instead. Todd Bergen anyone? Probably can't blame this one on Mike Keenan though...

At 2:15 p.m., August 20, 2008, Blogger saskhab said...

Dan Ryder probably unretired when he saw that his brother found a way to take a year off while still receiving a paycheque, then get a raise.


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