Two weeks ago, The Peterborough Examiner reported the story of Myles McCauley, a 19-year old forward from Sterling Heights, Michigan. McCauley recently left the Petes because, as he said, his heart is not in it
"I left because it wouldn't be fair to my teammates and (Petes GM) Mr. (Dave) Reid and the coaches if my heart is not in it."
The Petes have handled McCauley's situation with great care, leaving open the option of returning to the team should he have a change of heart. While some management types may be upset with a situation like this, especially after trading for McCauley earlier this season, the Petes have reassured McCauley and supported his decision. In fact, McCauley's decision weighs heavily on Petes' GM Dave Reid.
"I told him I felt sad for him that he feels that way. It's terrible to see a young man sitting across from you saying his heart wasn't into a game he's played his whole life."
Reid is right - McCauley has spent his life attempting to play hockey at the highest levels, and now that he's reached it, his passion for the game has run out. It's a situations that many of us deal with at some point - the loss of love for a hobby, a game, or a job. For any kid on their way to the highest levels of Major Junior Hockey, the game is all of those things, but first and foremost it's a job. It's their path to higher levels, it's their path to a career of riches. Hockey consumes their lives and even the smallest bit of self-doubt can lead to burn out.
The Petes should be congratulated for handling a kid's life and dreams with a deft touch. Here's hoping some time away from the game allows McCauley to gain insight on what matters to him. If it's hockey, we can only hope he realizes the same passion for the game he once had. If it's not hockey, he's already demonstrated pragmatism and decision-making far beyond his years - he should be just fine.