I thought about the first time I met Derek Dorsett after hearing his heartfelt message of thanks to the hockey world after a chronic back injury forced the fiesty 30-year-old Vancouver Canuck forward into retirement.
Dorsett was called up from the SJHL to the Medicine Hat Tigers late in the 2004-05 season and made an immediate impact. The 18-year-old WHL rookie was a pest out of the Ken Linseman-Keith Acton mould and also put up points.
I interviewed kid from Kindersley during the PA Raiders-Tigers Eastern semi-final and thought, this little guy is thriving in what was at the time the WHL land of the giants. Dorsett made it to the NHL with his grit, desire and never say quit attitude and now says he can enjoy the rest of his life outside of hockey with his family.
Dorsett's brief but fruitful NHL career is proof you can succeed despite the odds if you bring the right attitude and work ethic to the table.