That was not the case for Jack Forsey, a 29 year old rookie with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1942-43 season.
Born in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Forsey was a junior star with the Calgary Jimmies in the early 1930s. He would move to British Columbia to play in Nelson and Kimberley until 1936 when he decided to let hockey take him on an adventure. He left British Columbia to play in Britain with the Earl's Court Rangers until 1939.
In his first season in England he was called to represent Canada at the World Hockey Championships in 1937. With 8 goals in 7 games Forsey played a significant role in Canada's gold medal title.
Forsey returned to Canada in 1939, playing more senior hockey, this time in Quebec (albeit with some controversy as he reneged on commitments to play in Baltimore).
In 1941-42 Forsey finally turned pro in North American, signing with the Providence Reds of the AHL. With an impressive 46 points in 52 games, Forsey garnered NHL interest at long last. The following season Forsey finally made his aforementioned NHL debut, scoring nearly a point a game.
So why didn't Forsey ever get another chance in the NHL?
Like so many players at that time, World War II service put his hockey career on indefinite hold. He would end up missing two full seasons as he enlisted with the Air Force, though he was rejected due to a broken nose. He ended up serving in the army was able to play in a league in Red Deer where he was stationed.
Upon the completion of his military duty Forsey never really returned to professional hockey. He opted to stay out west, playing senior hockey in his native Saskatchewan or his adopted home of British Columbia until 1950.
Jack Forsey passed away in Salmon Arm, B.C. in 1998, at the age of 84. He was buried in Calgary.