After a successful NHL stint that resulted in three Stanley Cup championship rings and the admiration of just about everyone he ever encountered, Colin Fraser packed up his family and headed to Germany in 2016 to continue his hockey career.
Everything seemed ideal, from his coach, to the city of Nuremberg, to the apartment he shared with his wife and two children (with another on the way) to the team that was in first place when the calendar turned to November of '16.
While all appeared right with the world, it wasn't.
"There were all of these things that were really, really good and I still had this feeling that I just wasn't enjoying it," Fraser said. "Nothing happened to me. I don't have a story where someone screwed me or hurt me. I just didn't want to play anymore."
For the first time in his life, Fraser, who helped the Blackhawks win the Cup in 2010 and the Kings in'12 and '14 as part of an NHL career that spanned 359 games over parts of nine seasons and also included stops with the Oilers and Blues, had lost his passion to play hockey.
"It's not something that I talked about, it was just a feeling I had for quite awhile," Fraser said. "I got into November in Germany and I just couldn't fight it anymore. I felt like I was playing for the wrong reasons. I felt like I was playing for a paycheck and to hang out with the guys and the lifestyle.
"I'm a character guy and I still worked hard and played hard and I wasn't physically mailing it in but mentally I didn't care if we won or lost," Fraser continued. "For the first time in my life it became a job and I found myself not being excited to go to the rink and not being excited to play and just kind of gutting it out."