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Berglund hasn't 'regretted one second' of walking away from NHL

Bill Wippert / National Hockey League / Getty

Former Buffalo Sabres forward Patrik Berglund doesn't regret his decision to walk away from the NHL, and from millions of dollars, to focus on his mental health.

"That was my decision and I haven't regretted one second after I made it so from there on I've just been hanging out with family and friends," Berglund said on the Hockey Sense Podcast with Andy Strickland.

There were three seasons remaining on the 30-year-old's contract at $3.85 million annually. After not reporting to the team in mid-December for personal reasons, Berglund was suspended, then placed on unconditional waivers before the Sabres terminated his contract.

"I don't think the contract and the money is the most important thing," Berglund said. "It's cliche, but for me, hockey is something that I love and that I am passionate about, and in the end what happened last summer and walking into the season I wasn't happy with it.

"I had a hard time adjusting to it, and just the situation overall in Buffalo. I didn't agree with a lot of things about how they wanted to play me and wanted to do things, and in the end I wasn't enjoying hockey anymore."

After taking the needed time to recuperate, the Swede says he's staying active and plans on returning to the game he loves next year.

"I'm doing really well, back home in Sweden and just kind of hanging out right now, getting back to work through working out and doing all that and I'm looking forward to playing hockey next year somewhere, so it's all good," Berglund said.

The 6-foot-4 forward also says he never completely lost the desire to play and had a feeling he'd be back.

"To be honest I kind of knew. When everything that went down with me happened I knew that I wanted to play," he said. "I think that the situation I ended up in wasn't very good for me, and I had to make a decision about that and my decision was to step away from hockey for a while and regroup."

Berglund played 10 seasons with the St. Louis Blues before being traded to Buffalo last July. In 717 NHL games, he's recorded 170 goals and 326 points.

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