Wey Retires from Hockey at 24
Former Waterloo Black Hawks defenseman Patrick Wey announced his retirement on Monday.
The news came six years after he concluded his junior hockey career, two years after he wrapped up his education at Boston College, and just a little over three months after his 24th birthday.
Patrick appeared in just three American Hockey League games last winter – sidelined for almost all of the season by a series of injuries and their effects – after making his NHL debut amidst much enthusiasm for the Washington Capitals in 2013/14.
Let’s remember that in hockey, and in life, it is as important to enjoy the journey as it is to get to the destination. Patrick made nine appearances for the Capitals and notched three assists. But if he had never stepped between the boards at an NHL rink…never reached that glittering destination…his accomplishments in the game would still have made an impressive list:
– At just 16 when the season began in 2007/08 (the second-youngest player on the team) he helped the Black Hawks to the 2008 Clark Cup Championship Series.
– A year later, he was among the USHL’s top ten scoring defensemen and the ten leading plus/minus blue-liners.
– The Capitals responded that summer by choosing him in the fourth round of the 2009 NHL Draft.
– As a freshman at Boston College in 2009/10, he was part of an NCAA Championship team.
– During his sophomore year, he stepped out of the Eagles lineup over the holidays to represent the United States at the IIHF World Junior Championships.
– Junior year…another NCAA title at BC, including a goal in the regional final win against Minnesota-Duluth which boosted the program into the Frozen Four.
– As a senior in 2012/13, no Hockey East defenseman was better, and Patrick has the Defenseman of the Year trophy to prove it.
Waterloo fans and the Black Hawks organization were thrilled when Patrick made a great play wearing red and black at Young Arena. We were excited when the Capitals drafted him. We rooted him on when he was as an Eagle. We cheered when he signed with Washington and got his first chance to play in an NHL game.
We did all of those things for two reasons, the first one less important than the second:
1) because he was one of us, a Waterloo Black Hawk, and it made us proud to see him move on to such a wonderful list of seemingly unceasing successes, and
2) because he was a great teammate, a great friend, and a great young man.
“Professional hockey player” or not, the character of that great young man is not likely to change.
And he will always be a Waterloo Black Hawk.
And whatever is next for him, even if he never walks through the doors of a hockey rink again, we know Patrick will continue to accomplish things that will make us proud of him.