Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Jordin Tootoo In Entirely Different Fight As He Enters NHL Rehab Program

Frederick Breedon/Getty Images
As followers of the NHL we see all different types of players in the game who each play their particular roles on their teams in order to help the team win and also stay in the league.  What we often times lose sight of is that with each different role a player has in the league comes consequences in their life away from the ice.   Today Nashville Predators forward Jordin Tootoo reminded all of us that what goes on away from the ice matters more than just what these athletes do in the games they play when he voluntarily entered into in-patient care through the NHL-NHLPA substance abuse and behavioral health program.

Normally when we talk about Tootoo it is for a hit he has made, a fight he has had, but today is that reminder of humanity we all forget when we talk about these players as if they are machines.  Tootoo on the ice is a player who plays on the edge and it is that style which makes him effective for his club, and also a fan favorite, but playing that way can have it an impact on life away from the ice and all credit in the world to Jordin for seeking help when he needed it and for the NHL in supporting his call. 

The NHL release reads:
The National Hockey League Players’ Association and the National Hockey League announced today that forward Jordin Tootoo of the Nashville Predators has voluntarily entered in-patient care as part of the Joint NHL/NHLPA Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH).
Tootoo’s care will be administered by SABH Program Doctors Dave Lewis (NHL) and Brian Shaw (NHLPA). Tootoo will continue to receive his full salary and benefits and will have no penalty imposed, provided he complies with his prescribed treatment and follow-up care program.
There will be no further comment.
In that vein I will not personally nor will I tolerate any speculation on what has caused Tootoo to feel the need to seek this type of help, just hope that in this process Jordin gets the help he needs for whatever it is that ails him and that we will see him back on the NHL ice as soon as he is ready to be there.

On the ice this season he has 10 points through 32 games and a team-high 47 penalty minutes, but today all we hope for is that he goes 1-0 in this battle he is now getting help to wage.