April 12, 2011

I'll sleep on the floor if they'll pay us in full.


I finally feel like I can breathe again. Big, deep breaths.

Ah, we’re home. The hockey bags are hidden!

So the off season has officially begun, for me anyway, and while it's nice to be home and take a few deep breaths, I know that feeling of relief won't last long. It's just a matter of time before we are consumed, once again, by hockey.

The off season carries it's own special set of stresses. Ask anyone who isn't signed to a multi-year deal and they'll tell you that the off season can often be more stressful than the regular season. Especially when you have a family to provide for.

Within 48 hours of my flight touching down, three people had already asked me what we were doing next season. I felt like I was breaking up with a boyfriend as I stumbled through the answer.

I just need some time. I mean, the season isn't even over yet. I need some space. I'm still recovering from this season. I'm scarred. I don’t know what I want.

I'm just not ready to go there.

Sure, there's a certain level of excitement in awaiting offers, especially if you're planning to play across the pond. Germany? Austria? Sweden? France? Italy? I start planning trips and daydreaming about wardrobes in my head before we've even got anything on the table. That's the fun part. 

But it's difficult to enjoy your 'down time' when you don't know where you'll be living in four months. At least it is for me. I'm a fairly high strung person. I like to be in control. And while I run my husband's show, hockey runs mine. I can't control a damn thing. And it's taken me almost four years admit it.

I have a hard time understanding how my husband can be so relaxed. I know that he is affected by some of the stress (take my posts about Germany falling apart as an example) but generally speaking, he just goes with the flow; waits for someone to call him or to place something in his lap. It drives me up the wall. I can't tell you how many times I have threatened to call his agent. And he still has to remind me that hockey isn't like anything else. You can't force or convince someone to give you an opportunity. And apparently, hockey players don't beg for jobs. I may have suggested that a time or two ... out of desperation.

It's not easy to place your hopes and potential livelihood in the hands of someone else; someone who isn't seriously invested in you or your family. Someone who, more or less, considers you to be just another number.

When offers do come in, they aren't always what you were hoping for. Sometimes they're fantastic. Sometimes they're insulting. And then there's usually some creative negotiating. When we signed in Italy, we had everything but the kitchen sink in our contract and I think we're all pretty clear on how well that worked out. When we signed in Germany, we made sure they knew we needed a crib for Linden but didn't touch the contract aside from signing it. We were just happy to have the opportunity.

This year, I think we'll be more focused on covering our asses than anything else. I'll sleep on the floor if they'll pay us in full. That's not true. Maybe a cot?

All in all, the stress of the off season is just part of territory. The off season is also a time, especially for my husband, to unwind. It's a time for us to hang out with the friends we don't see for most of the year. Take weekend trips to wherever. Do all the things we can't do during the season. But hockey never goes away. We're never settled very long. We never know where we're going. And we are always hoping, wherever we land, that we land softly. 

I know that (God willing) I will be dragging those stupid hockey bags out again, before I know it, but man if felt good to toss them in the garage! If I never see them again, it will be too soon. 

That’s not true either … God, please find my husband a contract in Europe!


27 comments:

  1. yayyy!!! such good news!!! :) Sock thse hockey bags awayyy!!! (for now) haha. Hope you head something soon! Maybe we'll see you over here next year!!! xo

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  2. I'm glad to hear that you made it safely home and are at least unpacked for today! The worst part is that we get what we want but there's always something hidden in the agendas but good things come to those who've endured so much and girl great things can only come your way. Enjoy your time the best way you can. Hockey may run your life but you run your breaths! Think great things.

    I'll keep you guys in my thoughts for getting a contract for next season abroad. Happy Tuesday

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  3. I'm the type of person who loses sleep, laying in bed, thinking about what's to come and planning ahead. My doc gave me some incredible advice: don't think further than a week ahead. And I've tried very hard to stick to that.

    Enjoy your off season time!

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  4. I'm praying for a contract in Belfast so your hubby can be in a phenomenal holiday video next year. LOL.

    In all seriousness, I'm praying that you all end up with a long-term contract somewhere so you don't have the constant worry of "Where are we going next?"

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  5. I hope you have some fun in the off season, and I hope that he gets an offer you have always wanted.

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  6. Laura, Thanks! Felt SO good to toss 'em! We got an offer from France but that's a no-go. As nice as weekend trips to Paris sound ... we'll keep waiting! Hoping for Germany or Austria, really.

    Morgan, Thank you! You always know just what to say and I hope you know that I always appreciate your thoughtful comments!

    Danielle-Marie, I WISH I had that kind of discipline. I'm a planner! This is really the part of the year that drives me nutty!

    Ashley, No Belfast for us but I sure hope they make another video next year! That was hilarious. My friend's fiance was in that one!

    Eschelle, Thank you so much! We will definitely squeeze in some fun, in between worrying! Haha!

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  7. I hope you find out sooner rather than later. It would be good to know.

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  8. oh my, I would be slamming my head into walls already. I am a total planner, everything needs to be planned down to the exact minute something is supposed to happen. The exact spot where I'm supposed to be at that minute. Then again I'm OCD. Good luck, and lots of deep breaths and non fat white mochas!

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  9. Keeping my fingers crossed that you'll get a good offer from Germany :-))

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  10. Right there with you! If I had a nickel for every time I've asked "Have you heard from your agent?" we'd be loaded. And that's just this week!! Haha, great post though, so relatable.

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  11. Amen amen amen :) Love you, and this post. There is nothing like being a planner and having hockey ruin everything (um hello, right there with you). I am still thinking positive thoughts for you. And like you said, right now, just relax, enjoy your time with fam, and somehow or another it will all fall into place. It really will. because it always does. Big internet hug :)

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  12. So true! Plans get tossed out the window on a regular basis and hockey this or that is usually the culprit. Throw a little one in the mix and stress levels are on the rise. At least for me! Hope you can relax with family and friends while you're home :)

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  13. Enjoy your down time! I'm high strung like you...I can't imagine having to move my family around like that so much. This move to Ireland has been enough to kill me and I just moved myself...and my two cats next month.

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  14. Glad to hear you are into the off season, and I totally agree with the whole off season stess. I can also totally relate to the contract thing. My fiance's team starts playoffs this week and once those are over its time for contract talk. I can only pray we stay were we are but God only knows. GOODLUCK with everything. Ill be wishing the best for you and your family!

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  15. woo off season! but good luck with contracts next go around!

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  16. I don't know how you do it. I am just a fan and reading about the contract negotiations makes me tense. I am not good at being a pro sports fan because I can't comprehend that people can be traded like assets. I think of our guys as...well ours. And you know...as ACTUAL PEOPLE...with lives and famiies! It's crazy I know! ;-) I also am a planner and like to be in control.

    I hope HP gets a contract that will put you all where you want to be. And I hope it doesn't stretch out too long before you find out. I know you would like some downtime where you don't have to think about it and can enjoy both your men. Big and small!

    Glad you are back home safely and getting settled. Good luck with the contracts negotiations.

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  17. JDaniel4, Trust me - you guys will be the first to hear when I know!

    Chris, I need to buy stock in Starbucks!

    Ulla, Thank you so much!

    Erin, I have called his agent myself, a few times. I couldn't take it. And I needed answers to things. Thankfully, he was fine with it. Some, especially Europeans, don't want to talk to a woman. Period.

    Lindsey, I love you too, girl!

    Traveling Wife, Ain't that the truth! Man oh man!

    LeslieRH, I would DIE to visit Ireland! It's at the top of my list.

    hckywife08, Best of luck to your fiance in playoffs!

    Allison, Thank you!

    Sally, I love being an actual person! With feelings! And a life outside of hockey! Thank you for that! :) I'll keep you posted!

    Nicole, Thank you! Me too!

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  18. "And while I run my husband's show, hockey runs mine." <---haha that's awesome...and so true for those of us in the same boat. Glad you put those bags away, ENJOY your off season!!

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  19. Hillary, Just callin' like it is! Haha! It's true though. And he knows it. ;)

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  20. I will be praying that something works out for you and you will be able to enjoy part of the off season!

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  21. I can understand the unsettled feeling of transitional periods... Mine will end soon (maybe). Hopefully, you and your family will be able to relax during this time and have some fun!

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  22. Dear (hockey) God,

    Please find HETEXAKY's hubbys a contract in the same country. DANKE!!!!!!

    Love,
    the KY in the HWTEXAKY

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  23. Heather, Oh man, wouldn't that be nice? Sunshine!

    M, Thanks so much! Hope your transitional period ends soon ... and that it goes well!

    KY, I love you.

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  24. New follower here and so excited to read more. You have such an intriguing story, especially for a sports lover like me!

    Katsplaybook.com

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  25. Ugh, the stresses of offseason. We're in the same boat, just waiting to see what will happen next year. We're not sure we're quite ready to give up on North America just yet, but Europe is becoming a definite possibility if not this year, maybe next. And seriously, if one more person asks us what we're doing next season, I'm going to scream. I've been home for less than a week, let me have a bit of summer! Only one summer in 6 years have we known where we would be the following year. Not fun. Good luck with getting a contract you love and enjoy your offseason!

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