Former Blue BJ Crombeen talks life after hockey, Players Tribune column on post-playing career

B.J. Crombeen

Former Blues player B.J. Crombeen, joins the Afternoon Drive to discuss life after hockey, his new career as Vice President of Private Capital Markets with Greybook in Toronto and his Players Tribune column.

Read some excerpt and listen to the full interview below:

On the reason behind using Brandon as his first name now:

“I was called BJ when I was a young kid and it just stuck with me through hockey. As I got a little older and starting looking to making a transition into the professional world, I started going by Brandon a little more.”

How did your Players Tribune column come about?

“A a couple guys I spoke about in the column, John and Duncan, really kind of helped me with the whole process, what I wanted to do and figuring everything out. They were kind of in the midst of launching a new program with the NHL PA and help players prepare for that transition and make sure they had things started while playing. I was involved in that process and we kind of talked about how to reach out to players. I think a lot of guys are usually intimidated by it because they think it is usually more than it actually it or they don’t have time for it. We were talking about it and they asked if I’d ever do something like this and if I was happy telling my story or would I rather keep it private. It really started from a brainstorming session.”

How difficult is it to get players to understand that their life after hockey may lie in something other than sports?

“I think that’s the thing that holds most people back. You’re going into an unknown world and you feel like you spent a large majority of your life prepping and fine-tuning your athletic ability for your sport, so to try to jump into a different business after isn’t an easy thing. I think that is what the message was supposed to be, that hockey or whatever your sport is, it doesn’t last forever and you’re going to want something to do when you’re done. A lot of athletes have type-A personalities and need to stay business and have something to do. By taking the steps while you’re playing it, it makes the transition a lot easier.”

When did you start kind of looking ahead at life after hockey?

“It was actually my first year in St. Louis when I started getting more serious about it. I’d been kind of playing around with a few different things and working on some courses, but it was actually Dan Hinote when I was playing my first year in St. Louis, and he kind of introduced me to a couple of guys in the Players Union that were helping. That was probably the first year I took it more seriously.”

How did you settle on finance?

“I always had an interest in finance. Finance can be a pretty broad space, so trying to figure out what interests me and what I wanted to get in to and what I needed to do in schooling and training all kind of lead into the decision. I always had an interest in it and obviously tried to stay as close to it as I could while playing. It always interested me and when I went down the path of trying to figure out what I wanted to do, it got fine-tuned a little more.