FanPost

WWXMD?

Doing that last post (Best Canuck Name Ever) reminded me of arguably the best name I've seen in hockey: Xavier Majic. Go ahead: try telling me that's not a thing of beauty! Alas, it ended up that he wasn't quite good enough to crack the lineup on the Canucks or any other NHL team. He spent a few years in North America, including a couple stints with Canada's National team, but used his talents to tour a bit of the world on other people's dime.

Not a bad way to travel, really.

I bring this up because a similar player was just profiled in our little semi-local newspaper. Nick Boucher was also a 9th round pick, drafted by Pittsburgh 280th in 2000. Like Majic, he couldn't quite make it to the NHL, so decided to take his talents overseas, winning the Dutch league championship in 2007 (Hi, Dale Weise!) and stopping pucks for the Sydney Bears in Australia in the 2010 off season. (Hey - they've got two games left in the season, and look at those start times!) Anyhow...

It brought to mind a question the Significant Other and I pondered a few years back: If you were a good hockey player, good enough to get drafted and hit the AHL, but probably not good enough to get called to the Bigs, would you stick it out in North America for the slim chance of a playoff game, and maybe a Stanley Cup ring? Or would you use the short career the vast majority of athletes have and use it to talk other teams into paying for (or at least subsidizing) a very slow world tour?

You won't have that long to decide: lots of folks have only played a few games in the NHL, but some of them played in the right games and have rings for it. On the other hand, most professional teams are going to pass on an aging AHLer, especially if they have limits on the number of imports they're allowed.

What's the better option to you? Stay with the modest pay, horrendous travel, and uncertain future in the minors of North America and hope for fate (and injuries) to get you a shot at glory? Or realize how small those chances are and use your skills for a year (or several) in different European countries like, uh, Australia?

What's the plan for your future, Oh Just-Drafted-In-The-Ninth-Round Teenager?

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