Hull talks retirement, state of the game
Brett Hull says he didn't sign with Phoenix as a free-agent so he
could retire to Arizona but the 40 year old admits it's looking more
and more like he won't play a single game for the Coyotes.
After not playing hockey for one full season, Hull says the idea of
retirement is a daily topic of conversation around his house.
"I'll wake up and not feel like getting on the treadmill and I'll
say, 'I don't have to do that, I can retire.'" Hull told reporters in
St. Louis on Monday. "And sometimes I get on and I say, 'I feel like
I'm 39 again.' It's a daily internal struggle.
"I would have no problem walking away, even though I now have a
chance to have played with (Wayne) Gretzky and have him coach me."
Gretzky, a minority shareholder with the Coyotes, has long been
rumored to be the next coach in Phoenix if a new agreement is
"I've had a great career, I've had wonderful times, I've done great
personal things, I've had a bunch of success with great teammates. If
there is that chance I retire, I'll go out happy. I'm not coming back
to make a fool of myself."
Hull says two things will factor greatly in his decision to return,
age and the future state of the game.
"I think I can still play," he said of his soon to be 41-year-old
"It's a wonderful game with wonderful players and it's turned into a
snail's pace out there... the game is not a lot of fun (with the
clutching and grabbing). The way it's coached, the way it's
businesslike now as opposed to a game. As much as it's a game, it's
not a lot of fun to play anymore."
Hull says some of the blame for the state of the game falls at the
feet of commissioner Gary Bettman.
"Like I said, for the 10 years that he's been in the game, the game
has gone to pot. I know you can't just blame him, but he's also the
commissioner and so you have to point the finger at him.
"You have to market the game through the players, and from there you
make the game fun to play again," he added. "The game's kind of
gotten away from that and hopefully we're going to address that when
we get this all resolved."
Hull says he's not optimistic of a new deal anytime soon adding that
the issue is not about money.
"The propaganda going around is ridiculous. What, because they're
meeting they're going to get a deal done? They're not even close
because the owners will not help us at all. My feeling is until the
owners come and help us out, to help them, there's going to be no
"If we thought that the money was that important, we would take any
deal. But we're talking about my kids and the kids in the future
coming up to play in this game, having the same opportunity that we
did, that we're not going to sell them out."
Hull will get the chance to get back on the ice one final time as
part of an charity all-star game on May 6 organized by members of the
St. Louis Blues alumni association. Aside from Hull, players such as
Keith Tkachuk, Chris Pronger, Rob Blake, Joe Nieuwendyk and Jeremy
Roenick are set to play in the game.