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11-04-2012, 11:09 AM
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Bob Gainey retired at age 35, only two years older than Ramsay when he retired.

The New York Times on March 27, 1989 quoted Gainey on retirement.

"Since we won the cup in '86, my motivation for playing has just been that I've been able to,'' Gainey said. ''You have to accept that if you want a long career, that once you mature and reach your peak, you're going to come out on the other side of that not having really the same impact you had in your prime years. There's a certain gamble that it won't work out; just look at what Marcel Dionne has been through this season.''

Last summer, Gainey was invited to be interviewed for the vacant general manager's job in Minnesota, but after the preliminaries, he removed himself from contention. He said he realized he was not ready to analyze the game through anything but the eyes of a player.

''While you're playing, the rest of your life after hockey is like a big bubble with nothing in it,'' Gainey said. ''What happened last summer made me look more realistically at retirement, but it also convinced me I'm still happier as a player. It's the games and the competition that keeps you coming back. Once you walk past the doors of this hallway, age doesn't mean much. It's only when you go outside in the real world that you have to act your age.''
Both Gainey and Ramsay were in demand for management roles as soon as they ended their playing careers. Ramsay made the transition at age 33 and Gainey did so at age 35. I don't know if the difference says anything about them as players.

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