The NHL is a league that takes a lot out of their players both physically and mentally. However, even with this, we often forget about them once they retire because of all the immense talent that joins the league each season. It also is easy to not realize that these players are individuals with outside lives like us and continue living them after they are done with the game. In fact, some of these players end up being involved in some pretty intriguing activities once they hang up the skates. Some stay involved with the game, while others move on.
With that, in this article, we will be looking at fifteen recent NHL retirees and what they are now doing with their lives. Although these are players that we all heard of and watched numerous times, what they are doing now may surprise you. Just because a player may have presented themselves in a certain manner on the ice, does not necessarily mean that they continue to act that way off the ice. At the end of the day, after the great entertainment that they have brought us fans over the years, it is only fair that they now have the ability to continue to live the way they want to.
Now, let’s take a look at the fifteen former NHLers.
15 Marc Savard
Although Marc Savard is technically still under an NHL contract, he has not been a member in the league for a handful of seasons now due to his concussions. Like Thomas, Savard was an integral part of the Boston Bruins’ 2011 Stanley Cup Championship run. Savard was an amazing hockey player during his career with Boston because of his spectacular passing ability.
Sadly, Savard had his career cut short by the infamous Matt Cooke blindside hit. Savard has spent a lot of his time since then simply recovering from his symptoms. It is crazy to think that Savard still suffers from massive headaches even after all of these years. After a bout with chronic depression, it appears that Savard is starting to adapt to his new way of life and that is great news for all NHL fans.
14 Tim Thomas
Everyone should have an immense amount of respect for the way that Tim Thomas completely turned around his NHL career. Thomas went from a career minor league goalie to a Vezina Trophy winner. The Boston Bruins were extremely lucky that Thomas developed the way that he had because without it, the team never would have won the Stanley Cup back in 2011.
The ending years of Tim Thomas’ career are often the dark ones when it comes to his followers. After refusing to visit the White House after the Stanley Cup win, Thomas appeared to let his political views impact his play. This led him to take a year off from the Bruins and after that, he never was the same. Today, Thomas spends a lot of his time still following Tea Party politics, as well as outdoors.
13 Martin St. Louis
How can any NHL fan not love Martin St. Louis? His journey to the NHL can easily be deemed as one of the bests of this past generation because he overcame an immense amount of adversity. First, he went undrafted and later was waived by the Calgary Flames because they thought he was not good enough. It is remarkable that St. Louis led the charge with the Lightning during their Stanley Cup run because he ended up beating the team who gave up on him.
It is sad that St. Louis could not end up winning in New York, but he was happy to retire when he did. During the end of his career, St. Louis’ mother suddenly passed away. This sparked a change in St. Louis’ mindset and is what made him decide to retire. Today, he has made it known that he is prioritizes him time with his family, as seen all over his Twitter feed.
12 Scott Gomez
Scott Gomez tasted an immense amount of success during the first year of his NHL career with the New Jersey Devils. He had the opportunity to not only win the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league’s top rookie, but also won the Stanley Cup. The rest of his NHL career would never match up to this and was filled with inconsistency once he left New Jersey. New York and Montreal really killed his confidence.
Gomez would surprisingly last a fairly long time in the NHL after he dropped in skill and played his last NHL game during the 2015-16 season with the Ottawa Senators. Today, Gomez is currently an assistant coach for the New York Islanders. It is clear that Gomez could not stay away from the game very long and it is awesome he is now in coaching.
11 Shane Doan
After twenty season with the Arizona Coyotes franchise, Shane Doan finally called it quits this past offseason. Although Doan wanted to play another year in the NHL. the Coyotes felt it was time for them to move on. It is easy to believe that the team could have handled this situation in a better way because of all Doan has done, but sadly, that is not the case.
Now that Doan is retired, he is living a fairly relaxed life as on now. However, it has been reported that Team Canada may want to Doan to join their club for this year’s Winter Olympics. This would be a great way for Doan to finish his entire hockey career because, although he never got to win a Stanley Cup with the Coyotes, he could have the opportunity to win a Gold Medal.
10 Pavel Datsyuk
The NHL fans of this generation were extremely lucky that they got to watch a player with the skill of Pavel Datsyuk. Datsyuk was by far the best dangler in the NHL during the entirety of his career with the Detroit Red Wings and no one will ever forget his amazing shootout goals. Datsyuk was a huge reason why the Red Wings won back in 2008 due to this.
After the 2015-16 NHL season, Pavel Datsyuk called it quits with the Red Wings because he wanted to move back to Russia. With that, Datsyuk decided to continue playing hockey, but in the KHL with SKA St. Petersburg. Datsyuk still is a superstar in the KHL, but every hockey fan in The United States and Canada miss seeing him play hockey here.
9 Mike Fisher
Every NHL fan that is not from Pittsburgh wanted to see Mike Fisher lead the Nashville Predators to their first Stanley Cup championship in their franchise’s history. Fisher led a bubble team to immense glory last season because of his hard play and leadership, but he came two games short of winning it all for them. We all wish it could have ended differently.
The impact of that long season and his old age, ultimately led Fisher to retire this past offseason. Today, Fisher is spending a lot of time relaxing and enjoying life with his famous wife, Carrie Underwood. After all the work that Fisher put into his NHL career, it is apparent that he is still a hard worker off the ice. He currently is spending a lot of time helping to get donations for Haiti.
8 Kevin Klein
Kevin Klein was by far one of the most underrated defensemen in the NHL and often was overlooked by critics. Klein was the perfect example of a reliable, two-way defenseman who had the ability to not only play solid defensively, but rack up a lot of points as well. Klein was a huge reason behind the success of the New York Rangers these past few seasons.
This past offseason, Klein decided to move on from the NHL after seeing himself fall out of the starting lineup with the Rangers. Klein decided to return to hockey as well and signed a one year deal with the SCL Tigers of the National League located in Switzerland. Klein is currently doing very well there and is even an alternate captain for the club.
7 Andrew Ference
Andrew Ference is the perfect example of a hard-nosed, old-fashioned NHL player. During his NHL career, Ference was not a superstar by any stretch of the imagination, but he was incredibly reliable and a big help to any team he played for. His leadership mixed with his solid defense, helped a lot of contenders, including the 2011 Stanley Cup champion Bruins.
When Ference joined the Edmonton Oilers and became their captain, it seemed like a perfect way for Ference to go out. He would have had the chance to help a young team grow in their rebuild, but sadly, injuries took away from him having much of an impact there. Ference’s hip issue would ultimately have him not be able to play in the NHL again and forced him to retire this offseason. Now, he is simply recovering and relaxing.
6 John-Michael Liles
John-Michael Liles had one of the most inconsistent NHL careers of any player during this generation. After an extremely promising collegiate career with Michigan State University, Liles came into the NHL on fire with the Colorado Avalanche. He had all the tools of a superstar offensive defenceman, but injuries quickly took that away from him and he never was the same once he left the city.
This past season, Liles was a seventh defenseman for the Boston Bruins and his age truly showed. This is what ultimately made him retire this offseason and today, he is currently an owner of the United States Hockey League’s Indiana Ice. This is great for him because it is important to note that Liles grew up in Indiana as well. This is truly a cool way for him to start his life outside of the NHL.
5 Vernon Fiddler
Vernon Fiddler could definitely be classified as an average NHL player because he did not wow anyone with his play. Yet, that does not mean that Fiddler was not an important player to each team that he played for. Fiddler was a very effective fourth line player, especially with the Nashville Predators and Dallas Stars, because of his grit and defensive work.
The final years of Fiddler’s career were definitely not one for remembrance because it became clear that he no longer could keep up with the talent of the NHL. This past offseason, Fiddler called quits through an article from the Player’s Tribune. Now, Fiddler definitely is spending his time relaxing at home and recovering from a career that was full of physicality.
4 John Scott
Man, John Scott has one of the most unique NHL careers of any player ever. Scott made it to the NHL solely because of the fact that he was an enforcer who was incredibly tough. After years of hatred by opposing fans, the tables completely turned when the NHL tried to restrict him from playing in the All-Star Game by forcing a trade after he was voted in. Yet, the fans made it happen.
Scott openly voiced his disappointment with the way the league handled his situation and rightfully so. Scott did not appreciate the fact that he was traded from Arizona because it took him away from his family. However, after retiring this offseason, Scott now is dedicating a lot of his time to his wife and four daughters. At least the happy ending is continuing for him.
3 Steve Ott
During the beginning of his NHL career, Steve Ott was one of the most hated players in the league as a member of the Dallas Stars. He was an agitator in the worst kind of way and displayed a lot of immaturity in his game. Yet, after joining the Buffalo Sabres, he became a solid leader and ultimately learned how to be a gritty player in the right kind of way.
Ott decided to call it quits from the NHL this past offseason and it definitely is easy to understand why. Ott no longer could keep up with the speed of today’s NHL and his style of play left a huge impact on his body. With that, Ott is now currently an assistant coach with the St. Louis Blues, another one of his former teams. It should be cool to see how he develops these players.
2 Patrik Elias
Partik Elias will forever go down as one of the greatest New Jersey Devils’ in the history of their franchise because he ultimately was the offensive force that led them to three Stanley Cups. Elias was an extremely loyal player for the Devils as well, so there is an immense amount of love toward him in the city. It is disappointing that he could not come back last season because of his lingering injuries.
Elias had not played since the 2015-16 NHL season, but finally announced his retirement this past offseason. Elias has made it clear that he is taking some time away from the sport of hockey as a whole to focus on his family life. It also has been announced that Elias will have his number retired by the Devils this season, which will make him the first forward in their history to do so.
1 Alex Tanguay
Alex Tanguay could be classified as one of the most underrated NHL players of this generation. During his initial stint with the Colorado Avalanche, Tanguay made a name for himself with his amazing playmaking abilities during their Stanley Cup run. From there, Tanguay grew a name for himself, but his success is often under-appreciated. Tanguay managed to register 863 points in 1088 games. Those are very productive stats.
As Tanguay’s career progressed, he began to suffer from an abundance of injuries that never seemed to fully heal. As a result of this and old age, Tanguay’s play dramatically dropped in his last few years with the Avalanche. However, he did play well with the Coyotes and it is a bit surprising he did not land a contract after that. During the final stages of last season, Tanguay announced his retirement and became an analyst for the NHL Network where he is now appearing consistently.