You might remember that former Flyer Dan Carcillo was in the news a few months back, when he spoke candidly and openly about his friend Steve Montador, the former NHLer who died in February. It was a side of Carcillo that we had rarely, if ever, seen before.
Carcillo spoke of Montador's personal struggles at the end of his life and how the NHL and NHLPA need to have a better "exit program" for players when they leave the game. It hasn't been confirmed publicly that Montador committed suicide, but it's clear that his transition, or lack of a transition, from hockey to post-hockey life contributed in some way to his death.
On Thursday, Carcillo officially retired from the NHL, and he's making it his mission after hockey to improve that very transition for players. Here's Dan in his own words, via The Players' Tribune:
I’m a big believer in signs. When we won the Stanley Cup and I was still lying awake at night thinking about how to carry on Monty’s legacy, it felt like it was a sign that it’s time to close one chapter and open another one.
Today, I’m retiring from the National Hockey League. My immediate goal is to help athletes transition to the next phase of their life — whether it’s continuing education, finding internships with companies, or networking with other athletes who are dealing with the same issues. My mission is to help guys who are dealing with anxiety, depression, and uncertainty about their future. Not down the line, not next week, but right now.
Carcillo's whole piece on The Players' Tribune is worth the read.
This is a guy who was extremely easy to hate during his career -- hell, even when he was with the Flyers he was pretty easy to hate -- but the things he's shared in the last few months really show what kind of guy he is.
Best of luck to Carcillo in retirement, and in his mission to help NHL players in their often-difficult transition to life after the game.