Suspended Zenon Konopka 'content' with career as he sits in hockey limbo

Suspended Zenon Konopka 'content' with career as he sits in hockey limbo

Zenon Konopka was handed a 20-game suspension for violating terms of the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program in May. It couldn’t have happened at a worse time for the 33-year old enforcer as he was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Now, a unrestricted free agent, and with a 20-game ban attached to his name, Konopka’s hockey career sits in limbo.

Talking to Lindsay Kramer of The Post Standard this week, Konopka realizes his NHL career may be over as he begins the second part of his life.

"There's more to life than just hockey,'' he said. "I don't think I have (played his last game). But I'm a realist. I never thought I'd play 20 games in the NHL, never mind be suspended for 20 games from the NHL. I'm content in my career."

Konopka will be in Syracuse on Saturday visiting the team he once captained as the AHL’s Crunch host the Frozen Dome Classic at the Carrier Dome.

According to Kramer, Konopka has attempted to sway the NHL to reduce the suspension, but any and all attempts have failed. The AHL has honored NHL suspensions in the past, and while Crunch owner Howard Dolgon said he’d bring it up the possibility to team GM Julien BrisBois if the situation presented itself, Konopka back to Syracuse appears unlikely.

The KHL may end up being Konopka’s last and only option should he decide to continue his playing career. For now, he keeps busy with a wine business and repackaging company, along with his Twitter-famous bunny, Hoppy.

"I have a good bunch left in the tank to help whatever team I'd be on.”

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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