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Dan Carcillo Retires from the NHL, and His Reason Is Very Poignant

A bittersweet day, indeed. Two-time Stanley Cup Champion, and former Flyer, Dan Carcillo, announced today on The Players’ Tribune that he’s retiring from professional hockey to focus on helping his brethren move onto the next destination in their life. Carcillo penned a previous article in April about the struggles hockey players face transitioning to the next phase of their life, and today he began his next phase. Carcillo writes:

In April, when I decided to sit down and talk about how Monty and many other players have struggled to transition to life outside of hockey, I was nervous about how it would be received. The unspoken sentiment is that you don’t talk about this kind of stuff in the hockey world. It can be seen as a “distraction.” When I reached out to my teammates on the Blackhawks to tell them what I was doing, I was really surprised by the reaction. They couldn’t have been more supportive. After the video came out, I had a number of current and former NHL players reach out to me to say that they’re struggling with the same issues.

In our own locker room, it wasn’t a distraction at all. If anything, I think it helped to get it out into the open. I can’t say enough about that group of guys in Chicago. So many of my teammates came up to me and gave me a hug and asked, “How can I help?” Everybody misses Monty. Everybody wishes he was still with us. So how do we make it better? How do we help guys with the stress and anxiety that comes with losing the only identity they’ve had since they were 16 years old? How can we help them find a new purpose in life?

Those questions have stuck with me all summer long. I’m a big believer in signs. When we won the Stanley Cup and I was still lying awake at night thinking about how to carry on Monty’s legacy, it felt like it was a sign that it’s time to close one chapter and open another one.

Today, I’m retiring from the National Hockey League. My immediate goal is to help athletes transition to the next phase of their life — whether it’s continuing education, finding internships with companies, or networking with other athletes who are dealing with the same issues. My mission is to help guys who are dealing with anxiety, depression, and uncertainty about their future. Not down the line, not next week, but right now.

For as much flack as we can give Carcillo during his time here in Philly and after he left, this is a really awesome way for him to move onto his next phase. While he wasn’t the best hockey player by any means, he may be the one who makes the most difference for today’s players when their playing days are over.

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