December 10, 2012

It's A Hockey Player Eat Hockey Player Hockey World.

I would be lying if I said that our decision to leave Texas was a difficult one. We were notified by TJs agent on Thursday at 7:30am, and the deal was done by 3pm.

TJs flight to Germany was booked, we packed the UHAUL, drove 30 hours straight to Massachusetts, and I dropped TJ off at Boston Logan for an 8:40pm flight last night.

It happened quickly and we were more than okay with that. As I said, this was an easy decision for us. I understand though, that this isn't easy for everyone else to understand, so I would like to clarify a few things:

We did not move to Texas in October to "buy time" and my "overpaid, underachieving" husband was not there simply to "collect a paycheck until someone got sick of eating schnitzel," as some hateful folks have speculated about TJ's decision.

I can assure you that we would never pack all of our possessions into the back of a UHAUL for the second time in one month if we were "buying time." TJ would have flown down to Texas by himself and roomed with a teammate, and I would have waited in Massachusetts within the comforts of home.

To be quite honest, we were actually thankful to be back in Texas - considering the state of the professional hockey world right now, TJ was lucky to have a job.

But the fact of the matter is this: It's a hockey player eat hockey player hockey world.

As easy as it was for us to make our decision, it would have been just as easy for the team to decide that they wanted to release TJ and bring in a replacement ... we just learned that lesson the hard way two months ago, remember?

Oftentimes, many fans forget that hockey is a business.

They take it personally when a player makes the decision that TJ just made - How dare he leave his team, teammates, and fans behind, right?

Well, riddle me this:

If you received a job offer to further your career with an organization that would not only provide you with the appropriate tools necessary to perform your job to the best of your abilities, but could also provide you with stability and career advancement opportunities - would you think first about your fellow co-workers and how your departure would affect them (knowing all the while that you probably wouldn't be on their list of considerations if the roles were reversed), or would you focus on what is best for your family and your future?

Our decision came down to this:

With each game that TJ played in Texas, it became more and more obvious that if we did not get out of the situation that we were in, this hockey season would be his last. Even in logging 40 minutes a night, TJ was being held back from playing to his fullest potential, and the role that was being forced upon him was not what was best for him as an individual.

It may appear that he wasn't putting forth his best effort, but it is important for those hiding behind their computers or who have never actually played hockey themselves, to understand that every team is different, every season.

Sometimes you put forth everything you have and it just isn't enough. Sometimes you are willing to put forth everything you have and you aren't given the opportunity you deserve. Sometimes you put forth everything you have and it goes unnoticed.

It is rare that a professional hockey player can get away without putting forth that effort, especially during a lockout when jobs are scarce.

Any player would be a fool not to work his ass off right now to keep his job.

TJ has always taken hockey seriously. His heart is always in it. I can assure you of that.

One major factor that many spectators forget is that while this is just a sport for them, just a game - hockey is TJ's livelihood. It's not just a Friday or Saturday night game for him - the hockey game that you attend is actually his career. It's how he provides for us, it's how we pay our bills...it's how he makes our world go 'round.

And on top of that, TJ's career has a shelf life.

He only has a short window of time in which he can do the things that he wants to do hockey-wise. If you had, maybe one more shot, at doing something that you wanted to do ... wouldn't you take it without looking back? I would. And that's what TJ has done.

There aren't too many things that I understand about hockey, but one thing that I do know for sure is that when it's time for TJ to retire, he will do everything that he can to ensure that the decision is on his terms. Retirement is not something that is going to be forced upon him because he couldn't find a job due to the fact that he played for a team that refused him of the opportunity to produce.

I fully understand that what I just wrote is a bold statement - but I stand firmly behind it. Contrary to any "insider information" that one might receive as a fan, unless you are back in that locker room with your own set of eyes and ears, you have no idea what truly goes on in there...it wasn't the ideal situation for TJ, and I'm just going to leave this paragraph at that.

Now, with all of the above mentioned being said ... the move that TJ made to jump ship and go to Germany is a ballsy one.

For those of you who can't read Deutsch, TJ is actually on a tryout for the team in Germany. He only has four games to prove himself, and come December 27th the team will either sign him or send him packing.

In the meantime - I ask those of you who love and support us, and those who understand why this move was necessary for us, to please keep us in your prayers.

(And for a great read on the major differences between North American and European hockey and why I prefer one over the other, read and follow one of my best friends blogs HERE.)

While it's a very scary and unstable moment in our lives right now ... we also haven't been this excited about hockey in a very long time. Simply put, the opportunity for TJ to be given a chance to show what he is capable of contributing to a team, as well as the chance to experience life in Germany again is worth the risk involved.
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22 comments

  1. So happy for you both! Fingers crossed that TJ knocks their socks off! Anyone who doesn't understand why TJ would jump at this chance simply doesn't understand the business of hockey. I'm proud of you both for keeping the faith through all of the crap you've been through, and for taking a chance! Lots of love!

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  2. Great post Kym. It's horrible that you are having to defend the decision. Best of luck to TJ in Germany! Who knows, maybe we'll see you over there next season :)

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  3. Hoping for the best for you and TJ. Thanks for keeping us updated!

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  4. All the best! You have to go with your heart, your gut, and do what you need to do. No one is going to look out for you and your husband's best interest like you can. Good luck!

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  5. Best wishes girlie! I know nothing about hockey, not from a fan stand point, not even from an occasional watch it on tv stand point, because honestly, I don't. But regardless, the decision you guys have made seems to be a smart one. Not just by hockey standards, but by ANY standards. Hope it goes well!!!!

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  6. Best Wishes to you both! I don't know about the hockey world but I do know about the European basketball world...and they're very similar. 2 people have already been let go from my fiance's team, and although we are thankful he is not in jeopardy...things can change very fast. No one can judge you or make assumptions when they don't know you and don't know anything about the situation!

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  7. Kudos to you for standing up for your man, like you said, it's difficult for people who haven't lived the life to understand all the hopping around! I have definitely been there and can relate to all the bad...but also to all the good times that you guys have before you. Keep your chin up and I will keep my fingers crossed for TJ :)

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  8. I wish you the best of luck and safe travels. I get really upset when people make all these judgements about players. My favorite player left here and people were like "He's a traitor! He's dead to me!" I dare someone to say they would turn down opportunities with more money and a place they wanted to play. You and Ms. Hockey Wife (and other hockey ladies) have really humanized the game to me. And yes I am a fan but I get that you are PEOPLE! HUMAN BEINGS! These are your husbands' jobs...they just do them in front of spectators. I appreciate you being so honest and sharing a peek in your lives. I hope TJ gives 'em hell in Deutschland! AND I hope you get to settle down for a while!

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  9. I wish both of you nothing but the best. I know he'll do well and be calling you with great news soon.

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  10. Good luck! Not sure people understand what a business sports has become, long gone are the days where players actually played for one team. I love sports but instead of being dedicated to one team I now tend to simply root for my favorite players. Don't worry about what other people think they don't have to walk in your shoes, just concentrate on what will make you both truly happy and everything will work out. By the way, I'm new to your blog and liking it very much. :)

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  11. Wishing you both the best of luck! It's amazing what people will say when they are behind the confines of their computer or even to your face when they truly don't know the situation at hand. Stay positive! It'll all work out the way that it should - hopefully with you guys in Germany :) I was born there and lived there for a handful of years. Wonderful country!

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  12. Y'all are certainly in my thoughts - I'm sure it will work out for the best and would love to have you back in Germany!

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  13. Bottom line - you have to make the decisions that are best for you & your family! I hope this turns out to be a great move for you both!

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  14. My family and I are hockey fans, Brahmas fans, and Fox fans. lol We wish ya'll all the best!!

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  15. You always have to do whats best for you and your family! Best wishes! :)

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  16. Athough society has deemed putting yourself first to be "socially unacceptable," taking care of yourself and your family is imperative. People should worry about their own lives before they worry what other peoples motives are for doing something. You guys did not harm or injure anyone. Therefore, they shouldn't care. I admire you for speaking up.

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  17. We wish all the luck TJ has always been very nice with my son, and I say thank you, and that we got another small time with him, meant the world to my son. So with that thank you. We have always loved TJ and will contiue to follow and support him.

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  18. As a die hard Brahmas fan, I was stoked to hear he was coming back here to play for us again. I have talked to him several times and he was a favorite of mine. i have talked to some other players here and none are mad about what happened. As a fan, neither am I. TJ deserves to have a shot at a great career. Thats what life is all about. I wish you guys the best and dont worry about what any of the "haters" say.This big guy gives you all of my prayers. Thanks for giving your all while you were here.

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  19. The saying goes "opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one." What most people fail to recognize is that the only opinions that matter belong to you and TJ. When TJ is 80 years old, you'll be the one changing his adult diaper (and vice versa). Not a hockey fan. You have to look out for the best interests of your family and never let anyone make you feel bad for doing so.

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  20. Kym, we truly enjoyed having TJ in Texas. I always try to realize that this is there job. Every hockey player MUST look out for his best interest. Those who do not realize this are not a bit short sighted. Yes, I would like to keep the best players every year. But this is simply not realistic. Good luck to you guys. I wish you all the best. It was a joy to watch you husband play in Texas.

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  21. wow, this post just won me over. I'll be praying that TJ gets on the German team for you and your family! Congrats on choosing a husband that puts his family first, cos it's very rare these days. <3

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I love reading your thoughts and opinions and I do try to answer all comments and questions. If you would like to contact me directly feel free to email me at kymberly_fox@yahoo.com, on Instagram @kymberly_fox, or at Facebook.com/KymFox86 :)

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