Not the way you want to end a career: Hitmen vets lament lost season

Some of the 20-year-old Calgary Hitmen players are disappointed because they had to give up on their final season earlier than they had hoped.

Kyle Olson and Dakota Krebs, who are both 20 years old, were both in their final season in the Western Hockey League when the coronavirus pandemic ended the year.

Neither figured their junior careers would end like this.

Even though Krebs knew there was a chance it could happen, it didn’t make it any easier.

“It sucks. I mean playing in the WHL and having it end this way. But I mean it’s more than me going through it so that makes it a little bit easier.”

Olson was born in Calgary and was acquired by the Hitmen at the trade deadline. He was really looking forward to playing for his hometown team, but injuries limited that to just 14 games.

He says it’s certainly not the way he wanted his junior career to end.

"I’m super grateful to be able to come back to my hometown for the last bit of my junior career. It’s just unfortunate it had to end this way."

Krebs spent his entire junior career with the Hitmen and says one of the hardest parts of it coming to an end like this is not being able to say goodbye to the fans.

"We play for the fans, we play for our families and we play for each other. I mean it sucks not being able to have the fans screaming and rooting for us."

But at the end of the day, they both know this isn’t just about them.

Olson says it’s far bigger than just sports.

"You know you never really want to go out this way but it’s something that everyone else it going through," he said. "It’s important to take care of us and take care of everyone around the world."

The Hitmen’s other 20-year-old player is captain Mark Kastelic who is already back home in Arizona.

Hitmen vice president Mike Moore did have a conference call with the entire team Tuesday.

It was an opportunity to talk, to listen and to vent.

Krebs and Olson agree it was a good thing and helped give them some closure.