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Pierre Lebrun, Canadian Press
Published: Thursday, February 01, 2007

(CP) - Life without hockey has been a mixed bag for Alexander Mogilny.

The former Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs winger misses the game terribly but is also cherishing hanging out with his family, wife Natalia, daughter Anna, 9½, and son Alex, 8.

"It's nice to spend more time with them now," Mogilny told The Canadian Press on Thursday. "That's something I didn't realize before, how much you miss them when you're gone for so long on road trips and games. You don't realize how much you're missing from their lives as they grow up.

"I've been really enjoying this part."

The other part, not so much.

On the shelf with a chronic hip problem, one that has very likely ended his career, Mogilny is faced with pondering a future beyond hockey.

"It's been very difficult," he said on the phone from the Los Angeles area. "Everybody goes through it. But it's not easy to be honest. You find a lot of empty space to fill."

He's getting paid US$3.5 million by the New Jersey Devils this season, the last year of a contract he signed with the club coming out of the lockout in August 2005.

He'll be an unrestricted free agent July 1 but highly doubts a comeback in is the cards.
"Never say never, but probably not," Mogilny said. "I'll be 38 in a few weeks..."

So a brilliant 16-year NHL career appears over. He didn't get a farewell tour, finishing last season in the American Hockey League, but don't think for a second Mogilny feels bad about how it ended.

"Hey, I had a great time," he said. "How can you be disappointed? Eventually everything comes to an end. I played 16 years in this league, that's quite a while. I never expected to be in the game that long.

"It's been a wonderful, wonderful time. How can you have any regrets?"

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