Former Stars captain Derian Hatcher announced his retirement from hockey Monday.
Here is his meeting with the Philadelphia media.
Q: Has it ever been suggested that you become a medical marvel and make a come back?
Hatcher: "I have been asked that. I had my knee replaced to better enhance my lifestyle, to go out there and be able to run around with the kids a little bit and play soccer and stuff like that. Let's make that clear. That's why I had my knee replaced. Initially, I did talk to the doctors about this, to be honest with you. Basically, everything they said was 'no way.' You are better off with a hip---trying to come back from an artificial hip than with a knee. There is no physical way you can rise to that level of competition and play that I would have to rise to."
Q: How tough is that knowing mentally that you still want to play?
Hatcher: "It is tough. I think kind of at the end of last year (2007-08) it was looming. Originally, coming into camp last year I thought that I could probably come back to play. I think that Paul Holmgren thought that, too. As time progressed, it just hit a wall and got worse, worse and worse. But I think having those 3-4 months of being around the organization, being around the guys it really did make it a lot easier for me. It wasn't just cut and dry. It is almost as if I was weaned into it."
Q: What was your family's reaction?
Hatcher: "It's kind of funny. They all wanted me to keep playing, especially the boys. The boys play hockey and enjoy going to the games and all that good stuff. I just told them that I can't. That's the bottom line. Now I am happily coaching them."
Q: Being the only American born player to captain a Stanley Cup championship team, does that stand as your greatest NHL accomplishment?
Hatcher: "Probably, because that one still stands. But I have had the chance to play in two Olympics, I won a Stanley Cup, won a World Cup, played in an All-Star game, got to play with my brother Kevin and got to play with him in a few of those events as well. I have seen the world through hockey. I have been across Europe, I have been to Japan. It is hard to prioritize what one (would be his greatest accomplishment) but I think that one would have to be it. I still kind of quietly like that."
Q: Any message to the fans of Philadelphia?
Hatcher: "I just want to thank them for their support. I know we had a rough year that one year but we bounced back. I wish I could have played this year to help the team win but I couldn't. I look forward to working with the Philadelphia Flyers. I believe that they are definitely headed in the right direction and they aren't that far away. That's my message to the fans, that they are headed in the right direction and I believe that they aren't that far away."
Q: Do you know exactly what you are going to be doing?
Hatcher: "Paul Holmgren's exact words to me are that we are going to have to 'wing it' a little bit, which is fine with me because that's how I am, too. They will give me a schedule and I will kind of work around it and go to places when I can. They want me to go to Glen Falls a few times and there are a few draft picks now that they want me to go see and see who they draft this year. It will be scouting and I will run the rookie camp later this summer. I will be here in the summer when rookie camp starts (July 6) and when the regular training camp starts. Paul had mentioned that he would like me to watch games at home with him and just stuff like that. We are just going to see where this takes me."
Q: Did you get a telephone call from (Ken) Hitchcock at all?
Hatcher: I have not talked to Hitch. I had a few phone calls and a few texts but I haven't talked to good old Hitch yet."
Q: Do you have any plans of coaching behind the bench?
Hatcher: "That's kind of a funny question because five years ago if anyone was to ever ask me if I would do that I would say 'no way.' But now, I am at the point where I would probably give it some thought. That is why I think that in the position I am in now is a great spot. Paul described it to me somewhere between coaching and management. Hopefully over the next year or two I will be able to decide what way I'd like to go."