Some experiences stick with a hockey player forever.
For Adam Hall, he thinks back to 2004 when he helped the United States defeat Slovakia 1-0 in a shootout to win a bronze medal at the IIHF Men’s World Championship. He recalls the medal being placed around his neck and then how special it was to hear “The Star-Spangled Banner” played in front of a sold-out crowd.
“You’re so far away from home, far away from everything that you know,” Hall said. “You’re on the other side of the world, but … you see American fans in the stands with American flags and dressed in red, white and blue. It’s just a special feeling that you … don’t feel quite so far away from home.”
Hall and his teammates also defeated the Czech Republic — the host country — in a shootout that tournament. Hall said he remembers grown men crying in the stands. He realizes how much the game means even more as time goes on.
“You realize how difficult it is and how rare it is to be able to win something like that,” Hall said. “I think those high-pressure situations bring teams closer together. Obviously having great memories and having winning memories makes the bond that much stronger.”
Hall already had an extensive hockey resume. He played for USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program in 1997-98 before representing the United States at the IIHF World Junior Championship in 1999 and 2000. The bronze-medal effort in 2004 was part of his five-year run on the U.S. Men’s National Team (2003-07).
Adam Hall of the U.S. Men's National Team is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal against Slovenia in the 2005 IIHF Men's World Championship.
The Nashville Predators drafted Hall, a forward from Kalamazoo, Michigan, 52nd overall in the 1999 NHL Draft. He played 682 NHL games with seven different teams across his 11-year career, scoring 69 goals and 156 points. He played four years each with Nashville and Tampa Bay, two with Philadelphia and one each with Minnesota, the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh and Carolina.
With the prominence of the Stanley Cup playoffs in the NHL, Hall said international competitions can sometimes be overshadowed in North America. But world championships “are as big as it gets” in sports, Hall said, and he had a few memorable moments on the big stage.
Playing in an atmosphere with so many opposing fans in the stands on foreign soil gave the game a different feel and brought about a closer bond between his Team USA teammates, according to Hall.
“It feels like you against the world a little bit,” Hall said. “It’s 20 guys in that locker room, and the coaching staff.
“So, to be able to go out there and just battle for each other and have that mentality, just a really incredible experience.”
Then there was the close-to-home rivalry between the United States and Canada at the World Juniors tournament in 1999. Hall remembers the roaring, white-out crowd on New Year’s Eve in Winnipeg. The fans spilled into the upper deck of the arena (something that hadn’t happened since the Jets had left, Hall said he was told).
“You were literally playing an all-out war against Team Canada,” Hall said. “That was about as hostile of an atmosphere as you could hope for in an event. But it was an incredible experience.”
Plus, the cherry on top was the United States winning the game, 5-2.
One of Hall’s greatest honors in hockey came that next year when he was named the captain of the 2000 U.S. National Junior Team in Sweden.
He remembers that he couldn’t believe how privileged he was to be chosen as the captain when there were so many players “right up and down the line that I think were leaders.”
“I think that’s what makes really great teams, is just having a lot of captains, a lot of leaders in their own way,” Hall said.
Hall, who turns 40 in August, retired from playing professional hockey in 2017 and joined Morgan Stanley as a financial advisor where he still works today in the wealth management division in Tampa.
Hall was fascinated about the financial world as a youngster after hearing his father talk about the idea of investing and making your money work for you, Hall said. He graduated from Michigan State University with a finance degree, so even before his professional hockey career got started, he knew what he wanted for his career path post-hockey. He wanted to help people navigate the financial pieces throughout their lives, from planning for college to investing for retirement.
Though Hall works with people in various industries, his ability to help athletes is something very personal to him based on his unique background playing pro hockey. Hall has enjoyed the transition from one career to another, adding it’s “the best of both worlds.”
Not only can he help athletes, but he can relate to their situations and experiences. He understands the dedication, commitment and effort athletes put forth in their careers, so Hall welcomes being able to put a process in place that allows athletes to focus all their energy into performing and competing.
“You feel like you’re able to make a real difference in people’s lives and you’re able to help people, improve situations,” Hall said.
“You have this very personal experience, and so you want the best for people that you care about. It becomes much more personal. You’re much more emotionally invested in it from the experience standpoint.”
Whether it’s been his hockey career or his financial career, Hall has maintained a foundation grounded in a solid work ethic. Playing in those national tournaments taught him to build a rapport with teammates and coaches very quickly to work in new systems and adapt to new roles. It doesn’t matter the industry, Hall learned to bring with him a solid work ethic, discipline, new ideas and the ability to ask questions while learning everything he can.
“People just expect you to put the effort in,” Hall said. “It’s that exchange of ideas that I think makes teams much better.”
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.