"At that time I really wasn't thinking about money," he said. "I was doing what I thought was the best thing for my family and for myself, and ultimately it was. Not only did the year off give me a renewed life for hockey, just being at home and being a parent to my kids and developing a relationship with my children is much greater and stronger now than it was before that year off.
"I mean, I had a good relationship, don't get me wrong. I was a dad, but when you're constantly on the road and so focused, I hadn't developed [that relationship] yet and they were at critical ages. My son was just turning 7 and my daughter was 8 and those are critical ages, I think, to really develop a relationship with your kids before they get too old. That ended up happening over the year off, so that was one of the great benefits."