Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/06/09 at 11:35 AM ET
from Doug Fischer of the Ottawa Citizen,
Jimmy Devellano doesn’t want anyone to think of him as a saint.
In 1988-89, when he was general manager of the Detroit Red Wings, Devellano accompanied at least six players—a third of his roster—to Alcoholics Anonymous or drug counselling meetings.
He’s never heard of another GM who’s done that, especially during the offseason, which is when he escorted a young Sheldon Kennedy to AA meetings.
“I needed that like I needed a hole in the head,” says Devellano, now the Red Wings’ senior vice-president. “Spending your summer with recovering alcoholics is no picnic when you don’t have a drinking problem yourself.”
Nor was he particularly happy to make sure Bob Probert, Petr Klima, Steve Chiasson, Joey Kocur and one or two other problem players made it to their meetings.
But Devellano says he did it because he was being paid to win hockey games, and sober and straight players gave him a better chance to achieve that.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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