Every two or three nights, he says now, they’d sit down and talk it over, he and the family. Weigh the pros against the cons. Weigh, also, just how much a man can push his luck, when he’s 41 years old and makes his living in a young man’s game.
On Tuesday, the world found out how all the weighing came out for Guy Dupuis.
After 21 seasons in professional hockey, 14 of them in Fort Wayne, Dupuis announced his retirement as a player. He leaves after a record 1,040 games in Komets’ black and orange, lugging a host of other club records: most goals by a defenseman (140), most assists by a defenseman (454), most points by a defenseman (594), most playoff goals by a defenseman (14).
In recognition of all that, the Komets will waive the five-year waiting period and retire Dupuis’ No. 2 this fall.
He’s legendary, Komets general manager David Franke said. Guy, in my opinion, is right up there with Eddie Long and Len Thornson and Reggie Primeau and all those guys that played in the ’60s. He’s right up there on their level for sure.
It’ll be different not seeing him on the ice in No. 2.
Different, too, for Dupuis, who said he was close to retiring at the end of last season but returned for the team’s first season in the CHL.
Anytime you’re weighing a decision, you’re weighing all the positives and negatives, and there were a lot more positives to coming back (last year) than this year, he said. It just made more sense to decide to hang up the skates.
The Komets and Dupuis said it was a mutual decision, although Dupuis could read the handwriting on the wall.
Reading the papers, hearing management, they expressed many times they wanted to go younger and faster, he said. If I retire, it gives them a chance to have younger guys on the power play and playing some key roles, to be able to move up and play a bigger role next year.
I think the Komets, in a sense, feel now they can go with more speed and maybe a bit more youth. A lot of that came into the picture.
So did the notion that his kids were getting older and he was missing out on a lot, and that, having been extraordinarily fortunate in 21 seasons, he might be tempting fate.
I really feel fortunate and blessed that in 21 years I just had a handful of injuries, Dupuis said. One year older, who knows? I try to push. Maybe injuries would become a factor. Maybe not, but, I figured I should count my blessings.