Monday, 2 December 2013

Canes Defenceman Joel Topping Calls It a Career

Lethbridge Hurricanes Defenceman Joel Topping has decided to call it a career. The Red Deer, AB native advised the team Monday he’s decided to focus on his future and pursue a degree in Education. The 18-year old will begin school in January at Red Deer College.
The 6’1, 194 pound Topping was drafted by the Hurricanes in the 2nd round, 41st overall, in the 2010 Bantam Draft. “Joel is the type of player that the Hurricanes always look for. He’s a character guy, good in the dressing room and as he’s progressed in the organization he’s always been willing to help the younger guys. Joel is also a big contributor in the community – from hockey clinics, school and hospital visits, he’s taken his role as an athlete seriously and we thank him for his time” commented Lethbridge Hurricanes General Manager Brad Robson.  

For Topping, the decision wasn’t an easy one, but it’s one he’s thought about for some time. “I’ve always wanted to become a teacher. Coming back to the Hurricanes is where I wanted to be, but teaching is still a passion of mine. I want to thank the Hurricanes, my teammates and coaches for everything over the past few years and I wish everyone in the organization the best” commented  Topping.

Topping leaves the Hurricanes with 93 games played, 20 points (1G, 19A) and 47 PIM’s. The Hurricanes want to wish Joel all the best in his future pursuits in Education and he’ll always be a Hurricane.


  1. I wish Joel well. Sounds like a smart young man. Given the chaos on the team I sure the decision was a little easier than it might have been. Another high draft pick leaves the Canes. The exit continues. Sac

  2. Hey Joel, best of luck to you. I enjoyed your career.
    If you want a teaching degree, none better than a U of L one.
    And a hockey team there too!! Just saying.


  3. Not the player that I was expecting to pack it in for the year. On Oct 10, 2013, Joel tweeted:

    Joel Topping @topping9
    Tough times don't last, tough people do.

    I guess Joel was tweeting of someone other than himself.

    Joel, did you just decide to become a teacher this week? I am thinking that at the beginning of this year's hockey season you probably didn't set out the plan to start a year of WHL hockey knowing that win or lose you were going to quit on December 1st? I am thinking that if the Canes were 22 - 3 instead of 3 - 22, your plans to be an educator might still be on "hold."

    Not every player can be on the best team. There are always teams that are mediocre, and several players have to be on the worst team.

    More specifically to Joel Topping, I'm afraid that you aren't going to be much of a teacher if you yourself are such an easy quitter.

    Extremely disappointed. Why not just tell the truth? You are quitting now because it sucks to lose and you don't have what it takes to stick with it "when the going gets tough."

    Quitter. Quitter. Quitter. All the rest is window dressing, and BS!!

    I am very disappointed in Pat and Jack tonight as I listen to them twist this announcement into something other than what it is.

    1. I find your comments rude and immature. If the players are not having FUN! and yes I mean FUN! then why can they not make that decision to do what is BEST FOR THEM! You are rude and I sure hope Joel does not read this. Grow up. This team has huge issues and an 19 year old boy can decide to move on! It would be hard to come to the rink every day when you know nothing is changing and harder still to look in the future and see nothing changing. Enough with the "quitter"... the management of this team should be called quitters! They have done nothing to improve the situation at all.! And I feel that if there is not an element of fun - how can you expect these kids to perform. They need to be enjoying what they are doing. If they find it is time to move on then all the power to them. How can you call a kid a quitter when he has decided to improve himself with education and move on with his life by attending university. Hockey is not everything!
      Angry MOM!

    2. Rantus... you need to quit ranting... I am pretty sure I would have my kid make the decision to continue his education than to be traded to another team.. at some point even the player has to decide that maybe he is not good enough to play at this level. At that point isn't it time to move on! You really need to get a life buddy. To print such ignorant comments is offensive.


    3. Rantus.......your first pathetic post. Brutal. Topping has been scratched several times this year and it's obvious he's not one of the coach's favourite players. Joel should be commended for understanding he was wasting his time with the Hurricanes and moving forward with his life. Until you walk in his shoes, best to stay silent.

      Best of luck in your future endeavors Joel regardless of what you do!!




    THANK YOU PLAYERS! Please stick with it! We ALL promise to try harder to cheer like Heckler's Row if you just STICK WITH IT!!

    Listening to Pat & Fred's comments about Joel tonight and his decision, I find their unified comments on this subject pretty disturbing, and couldn't disagree with you guys more. So the TEACHER is congratulating the player for quitting to start learning how to TEACH?

    Wasn't this the same kid who declared on twitter or some other platform something to the effect that "tough times don't last, tough people do.."

    I guess we know now what Joel Topping is made of?

    How do you decide that you want to play a year of WHL, then decide you want to be a teacher not even half way through?? He is going to be as hypocritical as many of my teachers were, that is for sure. Are you going to get to mid-term exams half way through the year then quit to start becoming an Electrician, then walk off the job half way through that ticket, to be an Embalmer?

    Is that what Joel is going to "teach?" Quitting 104?

    I can't imagine how many young men there must be that want so badly to play in the WHL but aren't good enough to be chosen.

    Then there are guys that are good enough to be on the team, but apparently think they are too good to be on losing teams.

    Losing sucks while you are losing, I get that. I have played competitive sports enough to remember I hated losing. I would have preferred Joel just announce the truth. This being that when he came to Lethbridge to play hockey, he wanted to be on a winning team because that would be more fun. Now that it is evident to him that Lethbridge does not have a winning team and he is not good enough to help them succeed, then he would rather get started on the rest of his long long long career as a teacher .... Which is where is logic fails miserably because he is in such a hurry to start a job that he will DEFINITELY be looking for ways to retire from BADLY in the next 20 years or so!!

    I loved playing hockey as a kid, but was never good enough to play above house team. I was much too weak, too scared, and hated blocking shots (No, I am not Axel Blomqvist).

    IF I was skilled enough to have been offered a spot on the WHL's worst team for five years before I went to university straight out of high school I know that although I may have hated all five years during playiing them, I would be a better man today because of the experience of it.

    These players need to stop being so short sighted and start enjoying this OPPORTUNITY.... ESPECIALLY those that don't have anything better to do than to be in a hurry to go get a job as a teacher (No offense, teachers)

    Don't be in such a hurry to start working for a living!


    1. Richie & previous poster you are clowns. Fred & Pat are in the know and understand the player was going to be released or reassigned as soon as Khenkel got here. The player has been on the wire for weeks and noone wanted him. Good for him for getting on with his life and good for Fred and Pat for not ripping him on his way out the door.

    2. Richie.......the only thing I applaud you for is putting your name to your pathetic post. Get off the kid's back. You need a lesson in "Life 101". Cram your comments. They aren't full of a lot of insight.


  5. I find the messages of the previous 2 people ignorant. Is there any chance you don't know all of the facts because I know for a fact that you don't. I was talking to one of the players a few days ago and asked about the situation with the defensemen knowing that the deadline was coming up and that 1 or 2 D had to be moved. He told me that he believed that Topping was going to be traded. Did you ever consider that DB discussed this possibility with Joel and gave him the choice??? Perhaps rather than getting shipped out to Brandon or Seattle for another late draft pick, he decided he'd get on with his life and go to school??? I would NEVER fault a young man for deciding to get an education and think it's disgusting that anyone would.


    1. 100% right. I think joel was struggling at this level and he and the team new a fine young man decides to go to school and do what he loves.good decision joel best of luck...bob

  6. I too find the previous messages totally off the page, and out and out malicious. Where you in the room with Brad Robson and Joel Topping when his decision was discussed? NO! Were you privy to the thoughts and reasoning behind Joel's decision? NO! If Joel was quitting on this team, why not demand a trade to another team and thus get another year from the education fund? Did he ask for a trade? NO! Is he the first player to leave the game in pursuit of his education? NO! The cruel and harsh comments are totally irresponsible. As for calling out Pat and Fred; what are they supposed to do call Joel a liar? Of course according to Rantus, Pat, Fred and Joel are all members of the same liar's club.

    Irresponsible, malicious, thoughtless comments. Henry, McKechnie, Yakubowski, Pilon, all walked out on the team and demanded trades. They quit. Topping turned down an offer to be traded and decided to retire from hockey. (Victim of Preston's mismanagement and coaching).
    Two years at Red Deer College, plus 4 years of university does not sound like a rush to be employed.

    Piling on more and more manure doesn't make the pile stink any more, it's already crap!

    Dump'n Chase

  7. With the amount of players leaving over the last few weeks, I guess it was a good choice to not personalize the new blue alternate jersey i bought on my last trip to the Enmax....


  8. Joel is a great KID…Ask anyone of his teammates. He's not in the NHL and making piles of money and can do whatever he thinks is the best for him just like everyone else in the world including BR and the Hurricanes brass. Like just about every kid in the WHL he arrived with dreams and was proud of making it to probably the highest level of junior hockey in the world. Things did not go as he thought they would despite his best effort. He was doing everything he could to get better and impress the coaches but was often on the outside looking in hoping to one day be a big part of this team and help them win. His twitter is genuine. Likely he was being released or reassigned and felt his dream slipping away and felt it was time to get on with life. This probably was an agonizing decision. He was not giving up on the Hurricanes but accepting that he was not going be playing the game he loved. Richie and the guy before him likely have never played hockey at this level and therefore have no idea how hard these kids try and the pressure they are under. Calling anyone a quitter on a blog is gutless especially when you don't really know the kid or the details of what happened. Joel deserves a thanks for everything he has done for the Hurricanes and I hope all goes well for him in the future…Your a class act Joel!!

  9. Great decision by Joel and ridiculous comments from the first two posters.

    The kid is being sat out of games and is likely to sit more when the "saviour" comes from Europe.

    Why should a kid "tough" it out and sit in the PB every game when he is smart enough to realize it is time to move on and get a start on his post hockey life which is likely to start in March anyways?

    Good for Joel for having a dream and pursuing it. I wish him the best of luck in the future and in his schooling.

    It is pathetic that some try to push their failed dreams on others knowing nothing about their situations at all.

    Hopefully more kids leave the team forcing this joke of a management group to actually acknowledge the problems.


  10. Richie and the dinosaur poster (which obviously he is) are the losers. Who would question an 18 year olds decision to go to university?? If you don't have a passion to play anymore or that passion has been taken away because of the dysfunction that surrounds the team he should be choosing a career path that he enjoys. Life is to freaking short and these boys owe the Hurricanes and the fans absolutely zero! The boys are not getting paid and being on this team at this point means your chances of having a decent pro career from playing hockey are slim to none! I don't blame any player on the Hurricanes for doing a self assessment with respect deciding if this is the situation they want to be in for the next two or three years which is how long their career is. I find the remarks by Richie and the Dinosaur repugnant and disgusting. Good luck is too short and you owe the Hurricanes absolutely nothing , you gave more to them than they ever gave to you! LthHnds

  11. If this is a decision of Joel’s so be it and good luck Joel. If this is the Drake and Brad giving Joel an ultimatum, I am extremely disappointed.
    Why would we release or trade Joel at this time? When the Euro comes get rid of one of our 19yr old dmen. One likely isn’t going to be here next season. One or both will likely request a trade and be sent home any way. Give Joel the rest of the season to develop. Give Joel the opportunity to play the power play. Joel has the ability to play in this league and is only 18.

    @ Dump’n Chase – Do you think we should trade, release, re-assign all players that were under Preston? We clearly have NHL Stanley cup winning caliber coaches. All our problems must be Preston’s doings. Maybe one player has improved from last season? Get rid of every “victim” that even spoke with Preston and then this staff will work their incredible magic and take us to the promise land.
    Is Brad R also a “victim”? He did work with Rich for 4 seasons. Maybe he is ruined as well?
    Long Run

  12. Long Run, I do not think we should trade, release or re-assign all players that were under Preston. It is my opinion that some players suffered under Preston and never fully recovered or were able to adapt to the new staff. I said some, not all. Of course you have exaggerate by adding those who spoke to Preston or worked for him.

    Dump'n Chase

  13. Let me start off by saying that I have known and been very close with Joel and his family literally since birth and I appreciate the majority here for their positive and constructive words.

    Yet, there always seems to be a few who will take cheap shots from the safety of a keyboard. Joel has always been a well-grounded individual with a huge passion for the game. He also happens to be a guy with a head on his shoulders by proving to show the courage needed to move past a situation that has long since soured. He is not "weak" and is certainly not a "quitter."

    All I ask is what purpose does a personal attack upon Joel's character serve? It won't make a Hurricanes' turnaround all the more likely and it won't allow you to live out your past WHL dreams either (Lookin' at you Richie). Comments like these are unhelpful, tasteless, and are irrespective of the individual in question.

    Joel's commitment to his education and teaching shows that he is a sensible, well rounded person with many ambitions and passions. I have no doubt that Joel's passion for the game will be a life-long affair and will inspire the kids he teaches to pursue their dreams wherever they may lie whether they wish to play in the NHL, become a teacher, open their own business, and so on. The message that I received from Joel's decision to take charge of his life reminds me to never let anyone dictate what my passions are and where my priorities lie. What matters most to you says the most about you and choosing a profession that makes a difference in kids' lives day in and day out speaks volumes.

    Once again, I thank the many for the positive, constructive comments and would like to remind the few to think twice before attacking the personal character of an individual that they clearly don't know nearly as well as I do.