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Winning the Cup and Overcoming Addiction: One Athlete’s Story

Playing in the National Hockey League can be as mentally taxing as it is physically demanding at times. As a result, players are turning to other things to numb the pain.

In a recent interview, former Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup champion Brent Sopel discusses life after hockey and what led him to become sober.

Sopel wasn’t the best player on the ice, but the stay-at-home defender did a good job clearing the way for Chicago’s stars.

Sopel founded the Why Program after struggling with addiction and mental health issues himself. The program explores the mental health aspect of life, not just hockey, and in particular why things happen to people. He employs it as a mentoring program for young hockey players.

Good for Sopel; when you leave the NHL, a lot of former players struggle with their heads; it’s great to see a former player not only overcome his difficulties, but also use them for good.

Igor Burdetskiy

Igor Burdetskiy

Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & CEO at Hooked on Hockey Magazine
I grew up playing Ball and Roller Hockey day and night somewhat religiously throughout elementary and middle school. The two don't compare though when I lace up the skates and hit the ice. I live and breathe hockey beyond the perspective of "it's just a game" and I will gladly talk hockey for hours with anyone. Hockey is more than just a lifestyle, it's a culture of passionate people who make memories every time the puck is dropped. Hockey has not only helped me get through some of the hardest times in life but has created some of the best memories to date. Want to talk hockey with me? Shoot me an email: and let's talk some hockey!
Igor Burdetskiy
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