Closing the book on his major junior career wasn’t an easy decision for Spencer Main.
Then again, the former Kelowna Rockets’ centre hasn’t wasted much time in getting on with his life after hockey.
Between travelling and upgrading his education, the 20-year-old North Vancouver native is keeping both his mind and body occupied.
“I still get the urge to play once in a while, but really I have no regrets,” said Main, who was a second-round bantam draft pick of the Rockets in 2007. “All the little things I’ve been able to do that I wouldn’t be able to if I was still playing hockey, I’m really enjoying them right now. I feel like I’ve moved on.”
After missing 60 games during the 2011-12 WHL due to concussion symptoms, Main arrived at the club’s 2012 training camp last September with every intention of finishing out his fifth and final season with the Rockets.
But when the symptoms returned following the first day of camp, Main decided the risks to his health were too unpredictable to continue playing.
“I came through the summer feeling great, but nothing can really prepare you for that full-contact scenario,” said Main. “I didn’t want to go through my 20-year-old year wondering if I could stay healthy, playing a week or two, then sitting out. I wasn’t prepared to go through that again, so it just made sense to me to shut it down.”
An academically strong student in high school, Main is currently taking online business courses while living at his parents’ home in North Vancouver. Next fall, he’s hoping to attend UBC Vancouver to pursue an education in engineering.
As for travelling, Main has already been to London and Palm Springs and, during spring break, will travel with his family to Thailand and Cambodia.
“I’m really looking forward to that,” Main said of his upcoming trip to Asia. “I’m not playing hockey, but I’m fortunate to be able to travel and see other parts of the world.”
In the absence of playing hockey, Main remains physically active by running and working out in the gym.
As far as his former teammates are concerned, Main is thrilled to see the Rockets having success this season but admits he experiences some bittersweet moments.
“It’s nice to see they’re doing well, they’re a great bunch of guys and they really deserve it,” Main said. “Of course it makes it tough to know I might have been part if it, but you can’t dwell on it. I’m still happy with the direction my life is taking.”
Because his girlfriend lives in Kelowna, Main makes it back to his old stomping grounds on occasion and continues to stay in touch with the coaches and support his former team.
When asked about a possible return to the ice, Main said he has no plans to play organized hockey again in the future.
Thanks in large part to the support he received from the Rockets organization, Main said he leaves the game behind with no regrets.
“The (Rockets) were really supportive through the whole thing, they helped me feel confident in the decision that I was making,” said Main, who scored 24 goals and 58 points in 197 career games with Kelowna.
“I always knew this was going to be my final year, so I was content in knowing the time was right. I don’t think I left the game wondering ‘What if ?’. I feel like I played my hardest and got the most out of that I could.”
Rocket Shots…The Rockets and Kamloops Blazers will meet in a home-and-home set this weekend, the final games between the clubs this season. Friday night, the Rockets and Blazers will meet at Interior Savings Centre, before squaring off again Saturday night at Prospera Place…Kelowna will close out the regular season with three games in three nights, starting March 14 at home to Prince George, then wrapping up with a home-and-home set March 15 and 16 with Vancouver.