Today’s Sports 2.0 feature on ex-Canes coming to the end of their careers included a quote from Kevyn Adams, who at 34 is considering his hockey future. One of the most popular fourth-liners ever to play for the Canes, he’s in a tough spot.
He missed most of last season with a major knee injury, but the Chicago Blackhawks promised him a contract if he went to training camp with them. By the time camp ended, they still hadn’t freed up the salary-cap space. Adams was cut loose, too late to get into camp with another team.
He had a few offers to go to camp elsewhere over the summer, although teams were concerned about his health, but thought the Blackhawks’ offer was the best option. He re-rented his house there and enrolled his kids in school, only to be left hanging.
Now, he’s facing some of the toughest questions an athlete can ask himself, including the big one: Is it over?
“Every athlete faces it at some point,” Adams said. “I’m not going to be the kind of guy that fights it. I know I can play, but if the writing’s on the wall, the writing is on the wall, right or wrong. Whether it’s 34 or 35 or 36, there’s no sense fighting it.”
Adams would have loved to return to Carolina, but the Canes had Brandon Sutter ready to step in and serve a fourth-line internship as a rookie — logic Adams understands.
“At 34, to be a fourth-line guy, teams are not sure I can stay healthy,” Adams said. “A team would rather put in a 22-year-old who’s spent a year or two in the minors, pay him same money and be a guy they drafted. …
“I’ve won a Cup and done a lot of things and can bring a lot to a team, but it’s different for me than a guy like Roddy (Brind’Amour). It’s a similar injury, but he’s a top-line guy, not a depth guy. I’m in shape. If the phone rings I’m ready.”
So now he sits. And waits. And wonders.
UPDATE: Bret Hedican has signed with the Anaheim Ducks.