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Krupa reviews former Red Wings enforcer Darren McCarty’s memoir, and it’s an honest one

One of the biggest reasons that Darren McCarty's "book tour" through Southeastern Michigan's noteworthy is because he doesn't live here any more. McCarty moved to Florida after his last bout of legal issues about a year-and-a-half ago.

In a Metropolitan area where every hockey fan wants to buy one of the Red Wings' greatest folk heroes a drink--and that folk hero happens to be an alcoholic--it was hard for McCarty to stay sober both during his first and second stints with the Red Wings, as well as his post-hockey stay here, and the smartest thing I would argue Mrs. McCarty #3 has ever done was to decide to relocate to Florida for safety, sobriety and sanity's sake.

McCarty's memoir, My Last Fight: The True Story of a Hockey Rock Star, which was co-written by USA Today's Kevin Allen, will come out on December 1st, and ahead of the publishing date, McCarty spoke with the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa about his memoir...

“There were some messages I wanted to get out that were important to me,” McCarty said Wednesday. “You’re going to cry. You’re going to laugh. There are some great stories. But, I want you to understand, it’s for a young kid to be prepared for what he may face, if he makes it in anything. When there’s fame in anything, this is what you are going to come up against. If I can prevent some kid from going through this — like one kid — than my story was worth it. And for addicts? We have something in common. I hope people can relate.”

And Krupa's review of McCarty's memoir is bluntly honest, too:

Early in his book, “My Last Fight,” Darren McCarty quotes lyrics of a song by the country music duo Thompson Square, “This life would kill me, if I didn’t have you.”

Along with detailed, behind-the-scenes descriptions of the great events of four Stanley Cup seasons and building a successful career, from early morning skates as a boy through 15 NHL seasons, McCarty describes a rambunctious life that frequently courts disaster.

Without hockey and, now, his wife Sheryl, he believes he might well have met his demise by now.

“It feel as if my life is a Quentin Tarantino movie,” McCarty wrote. “It’s as if I’m one of Tarantino’s characters, waking in a deadbeat motel with his life turned inside-out and left trying to figure out how he got there.”

It is a book of considerable interest to fans. But people struggling with addiction may see it as as source of considerable affirmation. For McCarty, it is a matter of taking stock, trying to get clean and providing a warning sign for youth.

“I’m an addict,” he wrote. “There are no fairytale endings to addiction. I’m still a work in progress.”

He admits he continues to use beer and medical marijuana, the latter, he says, because he avoids narcotic medication for his chronic pain. He said he tested positive for marijuana more than 30 times in his career, eventually leading to mandatory treatment, while also using cocaine and ecstasy.

Krupa continues, and I can't say that I'm surprised by any of Krupa and McCarty's revelations--though they are shocking in some regards. I just hope that he continues to stay as mentally, physically and emotionally healthy as he can as he deals with what are going to be life-long struggles with addiction and the life-long consequences thereof.

For the record, the subject line of this entry includes an "An it's an honest one" with no real definite antecedent because both Krupa's review and McCarty's memoir appear to be brutally honest. So it's = plural.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink



Wow. I can’t believe some of that stuff happened.

And that’s just an article about the book…who knows what frightening details are inside it…

Posted by CrimsonPhoenix on 11/28/13 at 03:14 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

The times were bad. The Chevy Avalanche (ironic, eh?) McCarty used to drive when he first got back to Detroit from Calgary was one he’d bought with ex wife #2’s credit card.

He and the first Mrs. McCarty get along, and Griffin is doing very well in Metro Detroit minor hockey, but the 2nd Mrs. McCarty was involved with him when he was in Calgary and really out of control, and the 3rd…More or less helped him get clean again after he’d fallen off the wagon in 2009 or 2010.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 11/28/13 at 03:53 AM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.