I left Ohio after graduating from Ohio State because I did not want to take any more college classes. College is mad hard, yo! And like many recent grads, I couldn't find a job. So I went with my back up option and just turned pro instead.
I was fortunate to spend 6 seasons playing in the Atlanta Thrashers, New Jersey Devils, and Carolina Hurricanes organizations. My favorite part was the high caliber of competition I faced in games. My least favorite part was sleeping sitting up in the overnight passenger buses and then hopping off to play a game.
At the over-the-hockey-hill age of 30, I was offered a goaltender coaching position with the NJ Devils organization. I don't know if you know, but their goalies are pretty darn good. Like, Hall of Fame good. So it really was an offer that I couldn't refuse or I'd be skating on a non-frozen pond with concrete skates. (Oh, it's fine to joke about the mob - my wife grew up in Jersey and I'm Italian. But seriously. If we don't answer our phones in the next 12 hours, please send help.)
So the long and the short of it is that I've decided to take a year off and stay in Columbus. I'll keep watching my Devils and hope that my goalies continue to develop to make it to The Show. But my relationship with Central Ohio is bigger than hockey. My wife and I have been married 4 years and still have never spent more than 4 months consecutively together. That's ridiculous - something had to change.
Now I'm making a full go at being a goalie coach in Columbus. I'm looking forward to trying to help Central Ohio hockey players elevate their game and bring my professional experience to the table.
I'm ready to accept the challenge. Columbus, I'm coming home.