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Time For The NHL To Offer More Support To Retired NHL Players

from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,

My journalism career began toward the end of Gino Odjick’s NHL career, so I never had a chance to cover him in any great depth. But thanks to his Twitter account, I’ve come to know him a little bit.

And what I’ve seen from him I love a whole lot. He’s a proud and caring First Nations leader, an incredibly positive person and, perhaps most of all, a protector. That’s who he was on the ice for 12 NHL seasons. That’s who he is to this day.

And that’s why it was so tough to hear about Odjick’s recent mental health struggles. Odjick’s stay in a Quebec psychiatric hospital – his second trip to such a unit since September – alarmed his close friends and business partners. According to the article, Odjick and his friends attribute his woes to the concussions he suffered as one of hockey’s most feared enforcers.

But now that the 43-year-old is in a vulnerable state, who is the enforcer protecting him? That’s supposed to be the rest of us, folks. And by “us”, I mean the same fans who stood and cheered him with every thrown and absorbed punch; simply because we purchased tickets to watch him play doesn’t mean we can forget about him now, too. Yes, Odjick is responsible for his actions and the choices he made, but anyone who callously says “he knew the risks” and just forgets about him hasn’t owned up to their complicity in the post-career condition of players.

But more importantly, by “us”, I also mean the NHL, which profited off of those punches.

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

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who is the enforcer protecting him? That’s supposed to be the rest of us, folks.

No, dummy, that’s supposed to be him, his family, and his close friends.

But more importantly, by “us”, I also mean the NHL, which profited off of those punches.

And so did Odjick, to the tune of 6.1 million bucks over his 13 year playing career.

Yes, it sucks that his life now is a wreck due in whole or in part to his playing career.  This is a) a bummer and b) his own responsibility.  While the science of concussions and brain injuries wasn’t anywhere nearly then what it is now, is someone going to seriously propose that these guys did what they did without any understanding of the future risks?  None?

I have, generally speaking, a fairly low bar for what ‘the public’ is able to comprehend.  Even my bar wouldn’t be met by so bodacious a claim as that.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 12/05/13 at 03:38 PM ET

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No, dummy, that’s supposed to be him, his family, and his close friends.

No dummy, that’s kind of what he means. Learn about metaphors. Ask your third grade teacher about them.

Yes, it sucks that his life now is a wreck due in whole or in part to his playing career.

OMG! It almost sounded like you cared for a second.

This is a) a bummer and b) his own responsibility.

Not entirely true. Remember how lake erie got polluted? Wasn’t a river near Indianapolis on fire once? How does that happen to us? It’s because the people in charge don’t tell us the things we need to know about, say, the shit they put in drinking water sources or how damaging being repeatedly punched in the head can cause brain damage. His boss just decided that Odjick’s brain was only worth $0.5 million per year. Of course, I pay that much to have you brain dead in a hospital too. So, now I see your point.

is someone going to seriously propose that these guys did what they did without any understanding of the future risks?

No. They did not know. But, it doesn’t remove responsibility from those who abused players. That’s like saying, hey, back in the 1800s it was okay to molest children because people didn’t know any better. So what you are saying (your logic) is it was okay to put a grown man’s penis inside what ever part of an 8 year old he wanted?

Sorry to be so graphic but no matter when wrong was decided wrong it doesn’t change the fact that something wrong was happening before that decision. If repercussions can be made for the victim then they should be made regardless of time and place.

Ugghh. I just made myself very sick.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 12/05/13 at 10:17 PM ET

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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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