Kukla's Korner Hockey
by David Pavlak on 09/03/11 at 04:33 PM ET
With the recent deaths of three NHL enforcers, it was only a matter of time until one of them decided to speak up on their behalf. Cam Janssen has started to speak about the hockey life, the difficulties of being an enforcer, and the depression and hard times that comes with the job.
Rich Chere of The Star Ledger reports:
“I think it has something to do with the job. Absolutely,” Janssen said. “People look at the fame and the money part of pro athletes and they don’t understand how hard and stressful it can be. Listen, I have the absolute coolest job in the world, but it’s also one of the most stressful jobs in the world, too.”
Janssen knows about fighting. He was a regular member inside the penalty box, and was always good for some pre-game antics, or a first minute throw down. Now that these NHL tough guys are falling due to suspected depression and post concussion syndrome problem, it is time to look at what is really going on.
“If you look at me, talk to me and see me every day, you’d say, ‘This kid has absolutely no depression.’ But everybody has depression. Some have it more than others. It’s how you deal with it. You can feel sorry for yourself, lock yourself in your room all day and kind of crawl into a hole and deal with it that way. Or you can go out and get something accomplished, work out and do the right things to get over it. There are different ways of coping with depression. Is it all coincidence? I don’t know. I don’t know what to make of it all, but we do have an unbelievably stressful job.”
Janssen was caught off guard to hear about his fellow fighters falling so quickly, some that he has even traded blows with.
““With Boogaard, painkillers and alcohol are a deadly mix. He’s an NHL enforcer, but that could happen to anybody anywhere,” Janssen suggested. “From what I heard, Rypien had some off-ice issues and depression problems that I don’t want to get into because I don’t know the inside. From what I hear, he had problems and it wasn’t because of what he did and being an enforcer. So you can rule both of them out. I have no idea what the deal is with Belak. I have no idea what happened. All I know is he was an unbelievable, well-liked human being. Everywhere he went I heard nothing but good things. Fighting him, the battles we’ve had, he’s been very respectful and very honest. And very clear-headed and clear-minded. He didn’t seem unpredictable, let’s put it that way.”
When asked about his own demons he may be battling, he responding saying that he has none, and that he is in a good place.
“I feel great. I’ve gotten into some unbelievably hard, gruesome battles that last couple of years,” he said. “I got back up and felt great. I had one little concussion, a bizarre incident where I ran into my teammate (Brad Winchester) but it was never a problem after that. Absolutely not. I haven’t. I’ve seen friends and family members who have. No one in my close family has ever had to deal with anything like that. That’s probably why I’m on a good path with controlling myself.”
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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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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