The time has come. Daniel Carcillo, the two-time Stanley Cup champion, is hanging up his skates. Carcillo announced his retirement from the NHL on Thursday, September 17, 2015 with an essay, “A Bittersweet Day,” published in The Players’ Tribune. With his touching tribute to Steve Montador he announced his retirement, and you might want to have a box of Kleenex with you for this one, too.
Carcillo and Montador
He began his essay talking about him and his friend, Steve Montador, and how they would go to the same golf course in Chicago after practice to play nine holes. Regardless of their skills as golfers, it was a place for them to relax and take a step away from hockey and stress. And, the thing Carbomb remembers the most is, “Monty’s laugh echoing out over that quiet course.”
When Montador passed away in February, Carcillo could remember one vivid memory: how much fun the two of them had out there on the golf course and how “the future seemed to be right in front” of them, but they “weren’t quite sure what to do with it,” stated Daniel Carcillo.
In April, Carcillo sat down to talk about how Montador and other players have struggled with their transition to life outside of hockey. He reached out to his fellow teammates on the Blackhawks, and their unwavering support surprised him—they couldn’t have been more supportive for Carcillo and what he was doing for players in the NHL. Even after the video went public, current and former NHL players reached out to Carcillo to share their stories and to tell him they had the same issues. Wow, I got chills just writing about that. If this wasn’t proof enough of what Carcillo was meant to do after life in the NHL, I don’t know what was.
All summer long, Carcillo wondered, “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?”
After spending the summer thinking about those questions, Carcillo was thinking about how he can carry on Montador’s legacy. That is when he decided to retire from the NHL to help fellow players transition into the next phase of their life after hockey.
Carcillo said, “Today, I’m retiring from the National Hockey League. My immediate goal is to help athletes transition into 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.”
And with that being said, we salute you, Daniel Carcillo. We will miss your evil grin after messing with the other team, or your pageant wave as you got kicked out of the LA Kings game, but we thank you for all you have done and all you will do in the future. What a great next step in your journey after hockey. Congrats Carbomb!
You can read more of this retirement essay and remembrance of Steve Montador in “A Bittersweet Day.”