August 23, 2011

It's official! TJ signed & we're off to....

Hold the phone, I feel the need to preface this post before the "big reveal."

I've been asked upteen times "When is TJ going to make it to the big league?", "When is he gonna sign with the Bruins?" or "When is he going to win a Stanley Cup?"

Sorry folks, but it's just not that easy.

If there is one thing that pains me more than watching TJ get slammed into the boards or miss a perfect shot, it's watching the NHL Network, the Winter Classic, or the Stanley Cup Playoffs and listening to him say "I played with that guy," "I played with that guy," "I played with that guy." For me, watching those guys get a shot, an opportunity to play at that level - some of whom didn't even dress when TJ played with them, mind you - is frustrating... and in my bias and rightfully emotional opinion, unfair.

Did they all just get lucky? I don't know.

Is TJ's shot at making it to the "big league" over? I don't know.

But what I do know is this: From our experience with organizations, they cater to their draft picks - their young players with whom they have invested money in, and whom they will invest their time into as well.

So where does that leave someone like TJ who was pulled out of college to play?

Completely sewered.

When options and ideas for this season started rolling in all at once, that sent my head in a tizzy from one end of the country to another, to Europe and then rollercoasting back here again, all TJ and I kept saying to one other is that we wanted to end up somewhere where we'd be happy. From unkept promises with different organizations, to other instances that I really wouldn't or shouldn't get in to here, we've been let down. Multiple times.

But this year had to be different.

Obviously the hell bent glory that every young hockey player strives to play in is the NHL. Below that is their affiliate team in the AHL, and then feeding the AHL is the ECHL. But neither the AHL nor the ECHL promise that you'll get anywhere or move up within that organization. We've been there. We've done that.

At the end of the day, hockey is a business. And the cold hard facts are this: In this particular business, it's every man for himself. You can be traded tomorrow, or fired in Europe today. There is always a replacement, and there is never job security.

But this year is going to be different.

This year, we decided to look out for #1...#2 being me, and Brutus makes #3.

We are off to...

The CHL Texas Brahmas {click HERE for the official press release}

I've received mixed replies from the people that we've told. They range from our friends who are hockey players who "get it"; the ones who understand that there are so many guys who still don't have jobs right now and realize that we had to do what we had to do, to those people who believe that the NHL is the only professional hockey league in existence.

But the end of the day, all that matters is us and what we think. We're excited. We're ecstatic. And we're happy with our decision.

I personally think this move will be a great opportunity for TJ - one that he's never been offered before - to be a leader on a team in both experience and attitude to the game.

From what I understand the location is amazing. We'll be right in between Dallas and Fort Worth, and the city has a wonderful blend of night life, shopping, museums and parks.

I can keep my job so I won't go through the bored hockey seasonal depression that I experienced last year, and maybe Brutus won't lose his hair again :o)

I can just feel it in my bones that both the physical and emotional environments will be different for us this year, and that in itself is worth more than any two-way contract that TJ that could ever sign again.


August 21, 2011

August 8, 2011

Retiring from hockey....

This time last year (a year ago today, actually), TJ, Brutus and myself were filled with excitement and anticipation as we embarked on our German hockey adventure.

...and yes, Brutus told me he was very excited for schnitzel and beer.

{Let's play I SPY!}

This off season has been rough. Tough. Frustrating. Scary. And many four letter words. #$%!

The emotions that I've been through these past few weeks after watching friend after friend sign their deals goes from genuine excitement and happiness for them, to depression and sadness for us.

I sound pathetic, I know.

TJ keeps telling me not to compare him to X player who signed with Y team. That those things do not matter. And they don't, and I get that. And I can whole heartedly scream at the top of my lungs that I am TJs biggest fan and strongest supporter, but it's so f-ing difficult.

TJ has been to the gym every day, playing in summer league games every week, drinking protein shakes (HW and Texa, that joke goes out to you!) but no matter what he does, his fate ultimately lies in someone elses hands. It's terrifying.

I need control, I need a plan. I need the mental preparation to digest the stress of another move. Will we stay in the States? Will we go to Europe? Will I be in the same time zone as my family, or will I be 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 hours ahead of them? Will I have the 'luxury' of packing my car to the brim to move cross country, or will I be forced to pack my belongings into one suitcase? Will I be paying for our groceries in dollars, euros, kronas, or wons?

Those questions, which are set on repeat every day while waiting for one of TJs agents to call can drive a girl crazy - and they are.

So I decided today that I'm retiring.

I'm stepping back from the stresses of off season. I'm forcing myself to not check Elite Prospects every morning to see if he's been rumored to one of the three teams who have shown 'interest.' I'm done clicking on team after team in Europe to see which ones still have Import player spots left, and which US teams still have enough spots open for a Veteran player. I'm finished asking TJ to call his agents to see what's up. I'm done.

My Mantra:

© Kym Fox | Our Fox Tales