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From hockey to financial planning: Colin Fraser makes the switch to life after the game

Dhiren Mahiban
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(Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images) Author: The Hockey News

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From hockey to financial planning: Colin Fraser makes the switch to life after the game

Dhiren Mahiban
By:

It’s often said the hardest part for an athlete is to find a second career after their playing days are over, however, in the case of Colin Fraser, knowing he had plans for life after hockey is what helped him step away from the game.

It’s often said the hardest part for an athlete is to find a second career after their playing days are over, however, in the case of Colin Fraser, knowing he had plans for life after hockey is what helped him step away from the game.

A veteran of 359 NHL games, three Stanley Cups and a world junior gold, Fraser announced his retirement last month after a 17-game stint in Germany.

“I was just struggling with the game of hockey," said Fraser. "I wasn't loving it. Nothing happened, nobody did anything to me. It was just me and my own decision. My style of play is a very emotional, high-energy type of game, even in the DEL. I felt like I was having a hard time getting up and getting excited and wanting to do it.”

With hockey in the rear view mirror, the 30-year-old has turned to business. Along with his financial advisors, the group plans on assisting professional hockey players not just with money management, but also the perils of always being on the move.

“There's a whole lifestyle aspect of it. It's hard (as a player), you're moving all the time, getting traded, you've got families, wives, kids, you've got houses, addresses all over the (continent),” Fraser explained. “Its kind of helping guys out with everything in their life as well as obviously financial planning. It's kind of all tied into one. Life planning and financial planning.”

Originally a third-round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers in 2003, Fraser appeared in parts of nine NHL seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks, Edmonton Oilers, L.A. Kings and St. Louis Blues scoring 20 goals and 58 points while registering 290 penalty minutes.

His biggest regret and career highlight, ironically, came as a result of a June 2011 trade from the Oilers to the Kings. At the time of the deal, which saw Ryan Smyth return to Edmonton, Fraser was nursing a broken foot suffered during a March 2011 game.

“You leave the 30th placed team and you can't play and you go to the first placed team to play. It goes the just trying to fill a role idea,” said Fraser. “I scored two goals all year. It wasn't about going out and scoring goals, it was about playing hard and bringing something to the team. Edmonton didn't feel I did that and L.A. did, and we were the best team in the league.

“I wish it would've worked out better (in Edmonton). I was excited to go too. For a place that probably has a hard time landing free agents, I liked it there.”

Fraser appeared in 18 playoff games with the Kings during the spring of 2012 scoring a goal and adding an assist while winning his second Stanley Cup in three seasons.

“I guess just the whole way it went down, with a broken foot, not knowing if I was even going to be on the team and to going all the way to the Stanley Cup final and winning the Stanley Cup. You talk about your favourite moment, that was my favourite moment,” he said.

The Surrey, British Columbia native spent the next two seasons in the Kings organization and was a spare part on L.A.’s 2014 cup-winning team.

As an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2014, Fraser signed a one-year contract with the St. Louis Blues, but spent the bulk of the season with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves. Fraser appeared in just one game for the Blues leading him to the decision to try playing in Europe.

In July, he signed a one-year deal with the Nurnberg Ice Tigers. Along with his wife Carli, and their two children Calder (5) and Brielle (3) the Frasers headed to Germany. Fraser registered five assists and 69 penalty minutes before calling it a career in November.

“I always hoped, and thought, I'd play in the NHL. To lift the cup three times, that's something you always dream about, but not something I thought would happen,” he said. “A little bit of luck with the timing on the teams I played on. A little bit of hard work, I guess I got rewarded for it, maybe more than some guys do, which is why I consider myself a little bit lucky."

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From hockey to financial planning: Colin Fraser makes the switch to life after the game