On camaraderie, enforcers, and more

Mercenary employment This evening, I had the pleasure of talking to Flyer mainstay, Bruce “Scoop” Cooper. During that conversation, I asked Cooper about Bobby Clarke’s “boys’ night out” events and the camaraderie of the Cup-winning teams. “The team was the family,” he said. “Freddie [Shero] told the wives that you won’t always see your husbands much during the season but it will be worth it in the end.’ “Orest Kindrachuk used to say, ‘We were such lemmings that if we were on a plane heading to a city and a player went to the bathroom, we all went to the …

Revisiting the painkiller problem

After the tragic losses of NHL enforcers due to suicide or overdoses this off-season, a handful of former players spoke out about the elephant in the room. “Today the biggest problem, which isn’t talked about…is pills,” said Ian Laperriere. It’s painkillers.” In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Laperriere said that painkillers were appropriate when necessary but that some players were taking them just for the buzz. He suggested that he saw four or five guys on each of his former teams taking pills, whether or not they were needed. “There is also a huge, huge problem when guys take them …

A call to action

The death of former NHL enforcer, Bob Probert, came as a big shock to the NHL community last year. The fighter had a checkered past, riddled with drug and alcohol issues and legal troubles but he was still young (45) when he died on his boat in Ontario. At the time, his death was an isolated incident, something people hoped not to see again. Sadly, it began a trend among hockey pugilists. Less than two months later, the highly-respected Jason Smith, former captain of the Philadelphia Flyers and NHL tough guy, was arrested for domestic abuse last September. Nobody saw that …