PHOTOS: Phil Wright, Benjamin Martin, and Jagdish Gill taken by Yan Huckendubler. Stephen Bissett taken by Kent Locke.
After long and successful careers representing Canada, four Men’s National Team veterans have announced their retirement from international hockey.
Benjamin Martin, Jagdish Gill, Philip Wright, and Stephen Bissett have informed the Men’s National Program of their decisions, which take effect immediately.
Combined, the four Men’s National Team players have played 334 games for Canada at the Senior level and competed at every level of international hockey.
Philip Wright (Forward – Vancouver, BC – 150 Games Played)
The most experienced of the bunch, Philip Wright comes from a field hockey family, with his father and brother both having played for Canada’s Men’s National Team and his grandfather serving as the former President of the Canadian Field Hockey Association (now Field Hockey Canada). But Wright’s legacy is impressive in its own right, as he retires as one of Canada’s most experienced senior international players.
Wright played his first senior international match at the Pan American Cup in London, Ontario in May 2004, beginning an illustrious career than spanned over 12 years, countless countries, and hockey’s biggest competitions.
He quickly became a staple on the Men’s National Team, and played in major competitions like the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia, the 2010 World Cup and 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India, the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, and the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.
Benjamin Martin (Defender – Vancouver, BC – 106 Games Played)
Ben Martin retires at the top of his game, having recently become an Olympian for the first time at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The Olympic Games capped off a senior career which began in 2009 in the United States when Canada played a two-game test series against the U.S. to prepare for the Pan American Cup.
Martin went on to play in that ensuing Pan American Cup in Santiago, Chile, where Canada finished 1st and qualified for the 2010 World Cup. He then played at the next Pan American Cup in Brampton, Ontario in 2013 and went on to play in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, and the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Ontario, before playing in the Olympics this past summer.
Benjamin is currently a PhD candidate in LeAnn Howe’s Lab at the University of British Columbia, where he studies how gene expression states are maintained, in other words, how cells remember what they are.
Jagdish Gill (Defender – Toronto, ON – 69 Games Played)
Growing up in India, where field hockey is one of the country’s most popular sports, Jagdish Gill’s goal was always to play at the Olympic Games. This year, he realized that goal as a part of Canada’s field hockey team at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
After moving to Canada in 2006 and an enduring a tough journey to settle and support his family, Gill took a break from hockey until 2009.
He made his way back to the sport in 2009, but did not play his first senior international match until 2011 at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico – an exciting entrance onto he international scene. That began Gill’s participation in a string of high-profile tournaments including the 2011 Champions Challenge in South Africa, and the 2012 Champions Challenge in Argentina.
Gill battled injury in the years leading up to the 2016 Olympics, but made his way back into the fold consistently beginning at the end of 2015 when he competed at the Hockey World League Final in India.
Stephen Bissett (Forward – New Westminster, BC – 9 Games Played)
Don’t let the number of games fool you, Stephen Bissett had a senior international career than spanned over seven years.
Bissett, who had two brothers who also played for Canada (Matthew, who played 15 games; and Brenden who has played 64 and represented Canada at the 2016 Olympic), began his senior international career in Vancouver in a test series with the United States in October 2009.
It was until 2012 that Bissett returned to international competition at the 2012 Champions Challenge in Argentina.
After another break while recovered from injuries, he battled his way back into the conversation at the beginning of 2016, where he played two matches in South Africa and was a part of Canada’s squad as they prepared for the 2016 Olympic Games, a team for which he narrowly missed out.