Brent Sopel will be moving on this season after his year-long stint with the Canadiens, and I think many of us found Brent to be a hard-working, shot-blocking blue-collar guy who gave 100%, which is what all good Habs fans definitely demand. Unfortunately for this Saskatoon-raised prairie boy, the Canadiens needed more than what he could provide. They’re a team on the cusp of being a major contender, and upgrades in many departments are crucial.
But it’s not the first time Brent has moved around. Hardly. From Vancouver to Long Island to LA and Vancouver again. On to Chicago, Atlanta, and finally the Habs. This is the type of life for the majority of professional athletes.
Brent Sopel has never been a star, but he’s been plenty good enough to be an important part of the blueline for so many teams. The Sopels of the world just have the misfortune of being traded more often than others. They’re still very important and effective, and even though their hockey cards and autographs aren’t as pricey as some others, it’s always the teammates, the ones who know them best, who appreciate them most. Teammates and of course, wife and kids.
Brent’s wife Kelly gives us thoughts and glimpses in her blog, Life of a Hockey Widow, with the following coming after Montreal had been eliminated and Sopes goes home for awhile.
“Sopey’s finally home!!!!! He arrived last night to screaming kids with signs. We’re all so happy to have him back for a little while. Who knows what the situation will be for next year – can’t think about that right now.
He’ll re-live the playoffs for a little while, wondering what else could have been done. This happens all of the time. Two weeks of body rest and he’ll be back at it! Up around 4:30am for his workouts so he’s back before the kids wake up. Myself, I couldn’t be happier that he’s a morning person. Until I have coffee and lounge around the day doesn’t start.”
“Sopes is now back working out and feeling great. I will never know how someone can rise at 4:30am for the day and work out, let alone function. Insanity! I heard that hours like that should be reserved for crack heads and paperboys, I agree! I’m not a morning person; or a night person for that matter. Nothing wrong with some regular shut-eye. It’s hard enough just to get Sopes to sit for a meal. Maybe he’s still making up for lost time at home, who knows.”
“Yes, it’s extremely stressful waiting to see where Sopes will be next year. I will blog about free-agency later on in the week. Until then, we are relishing in our QUIET home.”
“And so it begins. The pit in the stomach of what this year will bring. We’ve talked, speculated and talked some more. It seems as if every time we decide on a plan, life gets in the way. If I’ve learned anything in this journey in the NHL with Sopes, it’s to expect the unexpected. July 1st is fast approaching. No matter what, I will remain here in Chicago – that’s guaranteed.”