Carolina Hurricanes: Defenseman Bret Hedican Won't Dance into Retirement

Robert McGeeSenior Writer IMay 12, 2008

Ever since the Carolina Hurricanes' disappointing season came to an abrupt ending, defenseman Bret Hedican has been busy supporting his wife, Kristi Yamaguchi, as she competes in the “Dancing With The Stars” television show. Hedican has also done a bit of dancing himself whenever asked about his plans for next season.

Will he play again or not? Is he healthy enough to play?

After he side-stepped those questions for weeks, it appears that StarTribune columnist Neal Justin got some answers. During a recent interview with Yamaguchi and Hedican, Justin asked the defenseman about his future in professional hockey. Hedican’s reply was as follows….

"Right now my contract with Carolina is up. I’m leaving my doors open. I’m not locked in on going back and I’m not retiring. I’m just enjoying this with Kristi."

While that statement is a bit oddly worded, it does seem to say that he is not retiring. Have the injuries that have plagued him all year long dissipated?

I wonder if Bret will attempt to get a clean bill of health from the hip doctor like he did last year before he can commit to playing. In July 2007, he had to go to physicians in Colorado for an opinion about his ailing hip. As it turned out, there was no definitive answer.

Then they decided to wait until training camp to see how the hip would hold up. As a matter of fact, it seemed as though the 'Canes were waiting all offseason and most of training camp just to see if Bret would be able to play or not. I’m not sure the team has the patience to go through that routine again this year.

It turned out Hedican missed 16 games last year and 22 the year before due to a variety of injuries.

But if there is anything to a rumor, Carolina won’t have that worry anyway. Yamaguchi has mentioned more than once that she would like to move the family back to California. If Hedican indeed puts off retirement, he will probably take his gimpy hip and play on the west coast.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Van Halen