You miss hanging out with guys in the dressing room and being around that team atmosphere, but you find a transition stage where you find other things you enjoy ... I think I’ve had a pretty smooth transition. I’m enjoying the next step. - Curtis Glencross
CALGARY, AB -- A year away from hockey has given Calgary Flames alumnus Curtis Glencross plenty of perspective.
It hasn’t given him an itch to return to the game, though.
“The only itch I’ve had is I’ve had a lot of GM’s call me to play on their hockey teams this winter around Calgary,” said Glencross, who retired last October after 507 NHL games over nine seasons, seven of which with the Flames.
“Beer league. We’ll see what happens there.”
Surely, the two-time 20-goal scorer will hear some strong recruiting pitches.
He’s not that far removed from a productive NHL career that saw Glencross finish with 275 points over 507 games with the Anaheim Ducks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Edmonton Oilers, Flames and Washington Capitals.
What is unexpected is that Glencross is available to join the recreational ranks so soon. The Kindersley, SK. native is just 33.
But, comfortably, that’s where he is.
After a deadline trade that sent him from the Flames to the Capitals in March 2015, Glencross tested free agency a summer ago. He found a free agent invite to join the Toronto Maple Leafs in training camp last September, which ended quick enough to see him catch on to the tail end of camp with the Colorado Avalanche.
Two camps. No contract.
One decision to call it a career.
“I was definitely shocked,” said Glencross, who was still productive with 13 goals and 35 points in 71 games split between the Flames and Capitals in 2014-15.
“But it’s a numbers game and a salary cap game and all that kind of stuff. It’s something where it just didn’t work out. Salary cap didn’t go up last year. I think if it had been in the same situation this year I’d probably still be playing.
“At the end of the day I’m happy with what’s going on in the next phase of my life. I’m not going to dwell on it and that kind of stuff.”
There’s no desire to give it another go, Glencross admitted.
A year into retirement has the Kindersley, SK native as busy as ever with three young children, daughters Karter and Paisley, and son Stratton.
His charity, the Glencross Invitational Charity Roughstock Event, has raised over a million dollars in the past five years for the Central Alberta Ronald McDonald House in Red Deer and Hockey Alberta Foundation’s Every Kid Every Community Program.
It remains a priority, and a focus each summer.
Blossoming business opportunities will take some of his attention moving forward, too.
Life after hockey, Glencross will admit, has been pretty good.
“I’m a strong believer of when one door closes, another opens,” he said. “I’m fortunate that another door has opened and I’m excited for a new chapter in my life.”
But it doesn’t stop Glencross from thinking about the game, at times.
And the people around it, though.
“You miss hanging out with guys in the dressing room and being around that team atmosphere, but you find a transition stage where you find other things you enjoy,” said Glencross, who had multiple offers last year to continue his career in Europe.
“That’s the thing you miss. Atmosphere and hanging out with the boys. That kind of stuff. Playing once a week, twice a week, that’s something that will get you that fix.
“I think I’ve had a pretty smooth transition. I’m enjoying the next step.”