When Robbie Hall signed a new contract with ECHL's Atlanta Gladiators in 2020, he felt like he was living the dream. The money wasn't great -- about $500 per week, before taxes -- but it was double the $250 a week he was making in the SPHL.
"I was in my third year playing professional hockey for a living," said Hall, a defenseman who played four years of Division III hockey at SUNY Brockport. "Which is three more years than I ever thought I would [play]. I followed my dream and got to do exactly what I wanted to do."
Then COVID hit. The Gladiators opted out of the 2020-21 season, citing economic viability.
"That basically forced my hand at retirement," Hall said.