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Carey Price and the word that starts with an R

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“The news of Carey Price’s knee is pretty daunting. ”

Posted at 7:26 am

The Canadian’s GM, Kent Hughes, did not turn the blindfold. He ripped it off. Suddenly. He hurts. Except at one point we had to acknowledge the obvious: Carey Price’s superb career is coming to an end.

” This summer, [Carey] received an injection in the knee. She didn’t help him. To be fair, Carey is not expected to be available at the start of the season at this point. And I don’t know if there is a path for Carey’s return this season through a rehabilitation process. ”

Even in the long term, the prognosis is bleak. Kent Hughes briefly mentioned an operation, without much conviction. He stopped shortly before saying the word taboo. The one that begins with the letter R.

” Retirement. ”

Did Carey Price get there?

No.

First, because there is no urgency. He still has 31.25 million left in his contract. If he stays on the disabled list, he’ll make millions. If he leaves, he will have to give up. Under these circumstances, would you retire? Me niether.

Only this – easy – decision delays a much more painful one: the moment of the announcement. A step feared by all elite athletes. Even if the pain is extreme. Even if the knee no longer holds. Even if the body no longer follows.

How come ?

Because they don’t see their sport as just a job. It is their great love. Their passion. The heart of their life. Carey Price started playing hockey at an early age. At age 9, she flew three times a week to train 200 miles from home. At 16 she moved to the United States to form a junior club. Now 35, she has spent half her life in the Habs organization. “Being the goalkeeper of the Canadiens is my identity,” he said last winter. And mourning his identity is harder than stopping Connor McDavid on the run.

This phenomenon does not only affect athletes. Entrepreneurs are unable to leave control of their business to the next generation. Teachers, doctors and journalists refuse to leave the school, hospital or the media where they work. My former colleague Claude Gingras stayed at The print up to 84 years! But in sports, retirement is particularly difficult, university studies show.

Concrete cases abound. Roger Federer, 41, has a wet knee. He hasn’t played for 14 months. However, he has not yet announced his retirement. Tom Brady, 45, has announced his retirement. Six weeks later, he changed his mind and confirmed his return to the field. As for Serena Williams, 40, she finally found the courage to say the word that begins with the letter R last week. Not without difficulty.


PHOTO JOHN E. SOKOLOWSKI, USA SPORT TODAY

Serena Williams, after her defeat at the Toronto tournament last week, the day after the announcement of her imminent retirement

“I never liked the word retirement, he wrote rowing. It doesn’t sound like a modern word to my ears. I prefer to talk about transition. Or perhaps the best word is evolution. I evolve from tennis to other things that are very important to me. ”

The sequel is even more interesting and reveals the feelings that eat away at athletes in the twilight of their career.

“I resisted admitting to myself or others that I had to stop playing tennis. My husband Alexis and I barely talked about it together. It’s like a taboo subject. I can’t even have this conversation with my parents. It is unreal until it is said out loud. And when I say that, I have a lump in my throat. I’m crying. The only person I really discussed this with was my therapist. ”

For many athletes, retirement is stressful. Worrying. Yes, they will have a lot of free time. Yes, they have a lot of money. But their social life will be turned upside down. Sometimes for the better. Sometimes, unfortunately, for the worse.

According to the work of Barbara Jane Chambers (2004), one in eight NHL hockey players exhibit symptoms of depression after retirement. Another study, published in Canada in 2020, showed that retired NHL players were twice as likely as active players to experience “moderate to very severe” symptoms of depression. It is also a higher ratio than the rest of the population.

All these reasons explain why so many athletes resist the idea of ​​retirement and wish to extend their careers. For a year Michael Bossy dreamed of a return to the game that did not materialize. Guy Lafleur has come out of early retirement to play another three seasons. Jaromir Jagr still plays at 50. Gordie Howe left the NHL at the age of 52.

Has Carey Price decided yet?

Maybe yes. Maybe not.

In any case, let’s not rush it. Respect his choice.

After his superb career with the Canadian, he deserves it.

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