Jaime Sifers has called it a career.
The Comets defenseman officially retired after 13 years following Sunday’s regular season finale at the Adirondack Bank Center against the Crunch.
“It just felt right,” Sifers said on his decision to leave the sport. “I always loved playing the game, but it’s time for me to move on, move back home and start the next chapter.”
The 36-year-old Sifers decided around Christmas this season would be his last.
“It took a huge weight off my shoulders,” he said. “It allowed me to prepare for it mentally. (My teammates) were all so terrific about it and so supportive. I can’t say enough about the places I’ve been, the people I’ve met and the guys I’ve played with.”
Sifers first began his pro hockey career in March of 2006 when he signed a two-year entry level contract with the Marlies. He would go on to play in 37 total NHL games for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Minnesota Wild, and in over 650 AHL games.
“You never know how long your career’s going to be and I didn’t want to have any regrets,” he said. “I didn’t want to leave anything in the tank. The coaches played the heck out of me (in my last game) and I can honestly say I have nothing left.”
He spent his final two seasons in Utica, serving as an example for the younger players in the organization.
“You try to model yourself after him because he’s such a standup guy and he has so much respect from everybody that knows him,” Zack MacEwen said. “I feel honored to have gotten the chance to play with him and play in his last game with him. It’s a great honor.”
Sifers will move to Vermont to kickstart his post-hockey career. He’s not ruling out staying around the game.
“I’d love to keep my foot in the door,” he said. “(I’m going) to take some time and make a call on that.”