The retirement of Rod Brind'Amour is something has been going through my head and the subject of whether some players know when to call it quits. Especially when you look at what Mike Modano is doing right now, which is the better option for some people. I can understand the drive some players my have; but is there a time where guys have something go off and say it's time to quit or do they need to be forced out because they're not needed. It's old conundrum if it's better to burn out or fade away.
Brind'Amour's plight is something that is a little more embarassing in my eyes. He's a guy who had a decent run for himself and didn't seem to see the signs that the game had passed him by. Sure, there were signs of brilliance every now and again, but not enough to warrant him playing past his expiration date. The fact that in his past two seasons he was a combined -52 (-23 and -29 respectively), plus his numbers have dropped and his need dropped-- which is something we saw when his captaincy was taken and given to Eric Staal-- something we all saw coming, but didn't see it in such a dramatic fashion. It didn't seem that Brind'Amour saw the writing and while he was very fit and had the conditioning, it didn't seem to play a factor into it all.
Mike Modano seems to be going that same route, but his is a bit interesting. Modano got a great big send-off in his last game in Minnesota, many in Dallas thought he was done, he got the big fanfare there and that should have been it, it would have been the magical ending to a great career. However, with him shopping himself around; it almost seem like a Brett Favre situation and we're all going to deal with this issue with him every time. You have to wonder if Modano is going to the be the new Chris Chelios and never really retire, but creep around and hope he gets a bite here and there. More over, for a guy who was with the Stars franchise his entire career; it would have been great to see him retire and show that you don't need free agency to have a nice career-- but now, will he taint his legacy by going to not only another team; but one who is a rival.
While I mentioned Chelios puttering around the various leagues looking for a gig, is that better or worse than guys like Theo Fleury or Claude Lemieux, who were taking a hiatus from playing all together, leading their post-retirement lives, then coming back out of the blue. At least with Chelios, he's staying in some kind of game shape and making himself out there, while the stuff of Lemieux and Fleury reeked of a sideshow and publicity stunt; especially with Fleury who had a book coming out at the same time.
While it's nice to have the drive for the game, there's a time where it become more of a distraction than anything else. It's the sideshow and maybe with the coverage of whether or not he can hack it with a new team that'll be something that's unneeded on most teams. Plus, the pressure that will come on the GM that sign him and backlash he could get from it all may be detrimental to him in the long-run as well.
While these guys have a solid career, it seems them almost having to be forced out of their place in the line-up is a bit of a shame and something they shouldn't have to go through to be forced out. Is there too much of a drive?? Is there not seeing the signs of giving up?? Is it just not having anywhere to go after it's all said and done?? Whatever it is, I feel they should have seen the signs before and not let their career slide off as much as it did before the called it a day in the sport. Of course, it's easy for me to say on this side of the table.