Reading in some other threads recently about Glenn Hall and Chuck Lefley. Hall, emptying his stomach contents before each game, and Lefley, who walked away from the game after a career year. Perhaps Hall still enjoyed the competition and Lefley did walk away when he didn't get the rush anymore. Are there any other examples of players who really did not enjoy the game that much but continued playing for other reasons?
Don't know if "got bored" would fit under the same category-Ken Dryden.
A player who retired well before he needed to-reading his book and just from what I read-I guess he enjoyed the game to a point, but I believe he's said he effectively "got bored" with the game and just retired.
He's still a fascinating study for me all these years-a HHOF goaltender, multiple cups and awards....and in his prime (was he even at that point?) he just says "eh, I've had enough".
Arguably Real Chevrefils & Derek Sanderson would fit into this category to some degree. Both brilliant players, both obviously had a real passion for it but got distracted along the way & veered left while everyone else of their generation Marched on. Bright lights & the High Life turning their heads, the game itself losing its luster. An unwelcome responsibility, obligation & intrusion that got in the way of their drinking & general carousing. Chevrefils as a Junior ranked higher than Jean Beliveau; Sanderson for the first 5yrs of his career had he maintained his pace & play easily a HHOF Lock as one of the greatest 2 way players of all time.
A great player who was never very happy was goaltender Roger Crozier, the 1965 NHL 1st team all-star, finishing 4th in Hart voting, following that up the next season with a spectacular playoffs on a hurt ankle, taking home the Conn Smythe trophy rather than the Stanley Cup, the first goalie to be MVP and the first playing for the losing team. The following, third year in Detroit, the acrobatic netminder finished 2nd in NHL wins and shutouts. He struggled for a few years thereafter, getting ulcers with his infamous lack of self-confidence. He then began to turn things around and had a half-decent season in 1969-70, finishing with only 6 losses in 34 starts, 7th in league goals against average. The following year he went to expansion Buffalo and immediately strung together another three-year stint of quality play, facing a lot of rubber and respected for helping make the Sabres immediately competitive. His role after that diminished, though he played in and won "the Fog Bowl", the third game of the Stanley Cup Finals against Philly in 1975. He retired after having played 518 NHL games over 14 seasons, half of them of historical significance. He had hall-of-fame type skill but he also had a stress disorder, making himself his worst enemy after his early 3-year peak success increased expectations.
Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
Unlike a lot of goaltenders Crozier never had great self esteem., especially after Detroit waived the great Terry Sawchuk. "Detroit have had such great goalies - Sawchuk, Glenn Hall and Harry Lumley. Now they're stuck with a little runt like me,'' he said.
Originally Posted by Sports Illustrated, Nov 23, 1964
Before the current National Hockey League season began, Goalie Jacques Plante, a positive man and a six-time Vezina Trophy winner who has recently fallen on hard times, announced that young Roger Crozier would never make it as a goalie in the big time. But last week—as Plante himself struggled to hang on to his temporary job in the Ranger nets—young Crozier, the first-string goalie of the first-place Red Wings, seemed well on the way to winning a Vezina Trophy of his own. After 14 games of his first regular season, Crozier had the best goal-stopping average of any goalie in the NHL and the most shutouts. His play, along with that of the incomparable Forward Gordie Howe and iron Defenseman Doug Barkley, was the principal reason why Detroit was on top of the heap. In most preseason forecasts, the Wings had been assigned fourth place. "I'm glad we got off to such a good start," was all the still far-from-confident young goalie could say about all this last week. "If we hadn't, everybody would be on my back."
Actually, one look at pale, self-conscious Roger Crozier when he is not in the nets would convince almost anybody that Plante was right. He is small and wispy, filled with doubts about his ability, and he even has an ulcer. He is the despair of coaches who try in vain to cure him of the habit of flopping and falling all over the ice, often in attempts to stop shots that would probably never reach the goal anyway. King Clancy, a one-time defenseman who is now assistant general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, calls Crozier "nothing but a Singer's Midget on the ice." Roger himself, at 22 the youngest as well as the most effective goalie in the league, ponders all these criticisms with care. "I want to find out who my friends are," he says, his eyes seeming almost to brim with tears. "People are sitting around, waiting for the big collapse. They're waiting to say, I told you so.' "
A superstitious youngster who hates to fly in planes and always starts dressing on the left side to ward off any evil spirits that might be lurking, Crozier recently delighted his teammates after practice in the Montreal Forum by leaping on sturdy Gordie Howe's neck and riding him around the arena like a jockey.
When he was 17, he developed his ulcer. "I used to worry a lot," he explains. "I worried about pucks going past me into the net, and I worried about having a bad night. There was a time when I had to be careful about everything I ate, but things are better now."
Roger Crozier is a first-class worrier, but he does not worry much about things like shattered cheekbones. He worries about public opinion, about screened corner shots and about the Montreal Canadiens, who slipped an unbelievable nine goals past him in a single game last season. Last week, the Montrealers beat him to another four goals and tied up the league lead temporarily, but even in defeat edgy Roger put on such a magnificent display of swan dives, lunges, lurches, kicks and one-hand catches in stopping some 25 other Canadien shots that rival Coach Toe Blake went out of his way to offer congratulations. No one, said Toe, could have stopped the four goals that went in, and that made Roger feel better—for the moment anyway.
Originally Posted by sabreslegends.com
By late December, 1970, the pressure of being the Sabres' number one goaltender took it's toll, and Crozier was out of the lineup, suffering from sheer exhaustion.
I don't know how much Trevor Linden enjoyed the game, but every time I saw one of his interviews he looked like he was passing a kidney stone.
Same with Markus Naslund.
Were they schooled by Canucks' management to look as bored and uninspired as possible when being interviewed?
Surely you don't mean Trevor Linden, the former NHLPA president and current Canucks president? Or Markus Naslund, who returned his $4.5 million salary to the Rangers when he realized he was no longer effective, so he could go play for his cherished home team of Modo, before becoming their general manager? Yeah, they must have hated the game.
...Were they schooled by Canucks' management to look as bored and uninspired as possible when being interviewed?
Just naturally dour at times. Not prone to emotional/animated public displays. Reserved. Quite common amongst hockey players going back generations. Neither one what you'd call cold fish though Panther. Good guys.