London Knights ex-captain Danny Syvret plans hockey retirement for financial career

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Danny Svyret, the captain of the 2005 Memorial Cup champion London Knights, intends to hang up his skates after 12 pro seasons.

The veteran defenceman, who played 59 NHL regular-season games with the Oilers, Flyers and Ducks, spent the past year and a half in Germany’s top league. He was originally a third-round pick of Edmonton after being named the Canadian Hockey League defenceman of the year and playing for the 2005 gold-medal world junior squad — widely considered the finest Canada has ever sent to the event.

“The whole hockey world is going really young,” the 32-year-old London resident and Millgrove native said. “It’s not just the NHL and AHL. Europe is doing the same thing. There’s good money available in many different leagues, but at some point, you have to say that’s enough.

“I was happy with my career. I’m not upset with not playing. I wish my NHL career went a different way — a little bit longer — but I made a good living in the NHL and minors, and had a lot of fun doing it.”

Syvret is still keeping the window open for a last-ditch return. He continued to skate this summer with the pros in London and area just in case a suitable contract comes his way.

“I always organize those skates, so I feel obligated to come out and keep it running and the numbers high,” he said Thursday after a session at Budweiser Gardens, “and if there’s something that goes on in October and somebody needs a d-man and the right offer comes, then I have to think about it.

“But my intentions are to get into business.”

Syvret, one of the more thoughtful and well-respected young men to play for the Knights, is studying to become a financial adviser. He writes his exams in December to become certified.

“Last year, throughout the hockey season, I was getting more into it — first as a hobby and then potentially into something more,” he said. “And after our playoffs ended (overseas in April), I got more excited about doing it.

“It’s something I picked up a passion on. I’ve been trusted by my peers, and I’ll transition that into assisting them with money (management).

“I’ve always had an interest in helping people and in math, and this is just a different type of numbers.”

Syvret played on 17 different pro teams since leaving the Knights. He was never a captain again — but often an alternate — and rarely made the playoffs because he was usually one of the better players on struggling teams trying to stay afloat.

He finished last season with the Nuremberg Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers and helped recruit Rob Schremp and Brandon Prust for the final playoff push.

All three were released as soon as the team was eliminated in the semifinals.

Schremp is still looking for a new hockey home and Prust has a tryout with the Los Angeles Kings this fall.

Corey Perry (Ducks), Dan Girardi (Lightning) and Marc Methot (Stars) remain the only members of the ’05 Knights still playing in the NHL. David Bolland remains on long-term injured reserve and his contract currently belongs to the Coyotes.

Most of his old mates agree Syvret would make a wonderful coach. He may do that one day.

“Right now, that’s not available,” he said, “but it’s something I have a passion for. I love the tactical, strategic side of the game and obviously, I like helping kids develop. I feel like I have a lot of knowledge to share.

“I keep up to date watching the game and looking at systems, but I’m going to focus on the financial and business career. It’s a steady lifestyle instead of hopping team to team.

“But I was paid to play a game and I know I was fortunate to do that.”

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