Pittsburgh Penguins send salvation to Pembroke’s Kevin Stevens

The greeting was jarring, a two-time Stanley Cup champion returning to a city where he was dear and being greeted with amazement and even contempt. But maybe that’s since a Penguins motionless to move Kevin Stevens behind to Pittsburgh and behind to their classification in a initial place. They knew he had a horrific story about obsession to tell, one that would provoke many though maybe, usually maybe, assistance a lot of kids.

“I consider it was flattering impactful on a immature guys. They were all listening,” former Stevens teammate Mark Recchi told a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Jason Mackey of Stevens’ work late final month during Penguins growth camp.

I extol Mario Lemieux, Recchi and a Penguins for holding another probability on Stevens, 52, a really decent man, who still is fighting his obsession demons on a daily basis. Stevens grew adult in Pembroke and played hockey during Silver Lake Regional High School.

The hockey players whom Stevens addressed during a stay are too immature to remember that he was a NHL’s best energy brazen in a early 1990s. Man, he was something special, scoring 40 goals on a Cup-winning group in 1991 and 54 some-more when they steady in 1992. He prolonged will be fondly remembered in Pittsburgh for guaranteeing a array feat opposite Boston in a 1991 playoffs after a Penguins mislaid a initial dual games.

Stevens scored 55 goals in 1993 when a Penguins mislaid Game 7 of their second-round playoff array to a New York Islanders. There expected would have been a three-peat if he hadn’t gifted one of a misfortune injuries in NHL story in a initial duration of that Game 7 overtime loss.

“That was a best team,” Lemieux still insists.

Google video of Stevens’ collision with a Islanders’ Rich Pilon though be warned it is for mature audiences only. Stevens was knocked comatose and landed face-first on a Civic Arena ice, withdrawal players on both teams and a throng of 16,164 dumbfounded and sickened. When doctors peeled a skin down from Stevens’ forehead, they looked during all a damaged skeleton and compared a repairs to someone stepping on a potato chip. They put in steel plates during a 41/2-hour surgery, rolled a skin behind adult and indispensable some-more than 100 stitches to secure it.

Stevens scored 41 goals a subsequent season, though many tighten to him will tell we he was never a same actor or same chairman again. He always favourite to splash and showed signs of being an alcoholic early in his career. But that was usually a start of his problems. In Jan 2000, Stevens, who by afterwards had changed on from a Penguins to Boston to a Los Angeles Kings to a New York Rangers, was arrested in a St. Louis suburban hotel for smoking moment heroin with a prostitute.

But a misfortune still was to come. Stevens was convicted in May on sovereign drug charges of conspiring to sell oxycodone. He was indicted of distributing 175 pills containing 30 milligrams of a addictive painkiller in Braintree, Plymouth, Boston, Medford and other places in a region.

He was condemned to 3 years’ trial with a $10,000 fine, most to a dismay of prosecutors, who wanted a one-year jail judgment for Stevens. The decider pronounced he weighed jail time – a co-conspirator in Stevens’ box was given 18 months in jail – opposite a probability of sabotaging any swell Stevens had done in his persisting reconstruction from that terrible 1993 injury. Stevens was also systematic to give motivational speeches about a dangers of obsession and medication drugs.

That’s where Recchi came in.

Recchi, a former Boston Bruin who is a Penguins’ executive of actor development, played with Stevens on a 1991 Cup-winning group and was voted final month into a Hockey Hall of Fame. Like Stevens’ other teammates, Recchi precious him. Recchi had followed Stevens’ struggles with obsession over a years, his catastrophic trips to mixed rehab centers. Recchi and Lemieux had taken partial in during slightest one involvement with Stevens. Despite their best efforts, a Penguins had to glow Stevens as a director a few years ago, not since he was bad during a pursuit though since he was undependable, a approach addicts mostly are.

“He’s apparently been by a lot,” Recchi told a Post-Gazette’s Mackey. “He’s clean. He’s sober. He’s perplexing to get his life in sequence and keep a lot of certain things in his life, so that’s since we brought him in here. He loves a game. He knows a diversion really well. We wanted to move him in and have a kids hear his stories.”

Lemieux agreed, signing off on a decision. It’s good to consider this initial baby-step behind by Stevens will lead to a larger purpose for him in a Penguins organization.

There are no guarantees with Stevens, of course. There never are guarantees when it comes to someone with addictions. But if Stevens can assistance during slightest one immature chairman by pity his story, he will be value carrying around.

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