Reports are that the professional hockey player, who is drawing close to having played 1,000 games, is thinking about hanging up his skates. Thinking about retirement.
Nothing is in stone yet, and Briere is not too forthcoming when asked about it. He talks about enjoying the moment and trying to show his sons how to do the same. He never comes right out and says that he’s going to play again or that he’s going to retire. Most likely because he doesn’t know himself.
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For Briere, part of the problem is that he can’t be with his sons when he’s playing. He’s not sure if he wants to spend yet another year living that life. With the career he’s had, he’s accomplished a lot and made more than enough money to support his family. Why not enjoy life and spend more time with that family?
Briere has three sons, one who is 15, one who is 14, and a third who is 17. Not only has he spent the majority of his life away from them, but he has to be conscious of the fact that they’ll be moving out soon. Moving on with their lives. Going to college. Maybe playing some hockey of their own.
If he waits too much longer, he may end up retiring and finding that he still can’t spend time with his family because they’re not at home at all.
Age is also a factor, as Briere is about to turn 38. How much more does he have in the tank? Can he really contribute like he wants to? His production has been dropping off over the years. Where is that floor?
Like a lot of older athletes, Briere also sounds unsure about the work. It’s not playing games that will be hard, but going to the practices, lifting weights, staying in shape. It’s a ton of work and he’s not sure he can commit to that for another year.
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However, those things do appear to be less important. He knows what he can do, and he’s been doing it for years. Even if the Colorado Avalanche don’t bring him back—he’s a free agent—he’ll be able to sign somewhere. There are always teams looking for experienced vets to help the young guys along and to fill roster holes. He knows he can step up and work to stay in shape and play well.
For him, it’s all about what is most important. Does he want to gut it out through one more year, just because he can, or is he ready to get some quality time with his family and take things easy? It’s a tough choice for athletes, and he’ll have to make it soon.