21 September 2011

The NHL needs to address Depression

With the three deaths this year of Derek Boogard, Rick Rypien, and Wade Belak who fought personal demons has brought to light the darker side of professional sports.

At times it is difficult to understand why someone who makes well over $500,000 a year would suffer from depression.  However, we know from many professions, money doesn't heal all wounds.

The NHL needs to wake up and realize their players, their product, are human.  They have issues.  Some as severe as abuse as a child, others have parents or family members who are ill, they become parents, they have to deal with the stresses of moving, and so on.

We know of the familiar stories of Theo Fleury and Sheldon Kennedy.  Neither committed suicide, but they were close.... and the NHL never really addressed the issue, they put a band-aid over the situation.

But this all has me wondering who is next?  Is it another "fighter"? Or is it someone who is depressed due to performance stress or concussions? Which I immediately thought of Marc Savard and Sidney Crosby, two players who have been on the injured reserve due to prolonged concussion symptoms.  Concussions to star players are a dark mark on the league.  But could you imagine if a star player took his life?  Could you imagine the ramifications?  I wonder if the NHL would act quicker in implementing a program if it was one of their elite products that committed suicide?

It just makes me wonder.  It has been a dark summer, compounded by the plane crash, for the NHL.

Let's see some action to protect this from happening in the future. Please.