Utica Comets defenseman Jaime Sifers has announced that he will be playing his final game of professional hockey on Sunday against the Syracuse Crunch.
Sifers, 36, has enjoyed 13 seasons of hockey in the pro ranks, including nearly 650 in the AHL. His career has spanned across the NHL, AHL, and DEL (Germany) and has included over 800 regular season games.
As he told the Utica Observer-Dispatch: “I probably thought about it every day for about six months, from last summer’s training until all the way to Christmas time. It just seemed like the right thing to do,” Sifers said Wednesday, acknowledging he wanted to be open with his teammates. “I still love playing. It is just time to move on. One of my proudest achievements is leaving everything on the ice. That’s what you want to be: a player who your teammates know you played your heart out for them.”
Sifers played in two seasons with the Utica Comets and made an impact both on and off the ice. “We love living in tight-knit communities and this is definitely one of them,” Sifers said, referring to his wife and two girls. “It provides a lot of closure to be able to end in a place like this and know we used to call this home. It will always be a special place for us.
Though he will miss the daily competition, he is ready to turn the page and embark on the next chapter of his life. “I love competing with a group of guys that are all pulling in the same direction,” he said. “The emotion of the games, the emotion of the buildings you play in, especially (Utica). I’m definitely going to miss that energy and getting your heart racing, your chills down your body. Things like that you can’t find really anywhere else.”
The first 1,000 fans at Sunday’s game can receive a Sifers bobblehead upon entry.