Mental Health Conversation

During every pregame skate, I used to look into the crowd and wonder what the fans could see.

I mean, like, what could they really see?

Could they see the cuts on my hands — and the blood on my laces — from obsessively lacing and relacing my skates again and again?

Could they see the bags under my eyes from having gotten just two hours of sleep for the fifth straight night?

Could they see the pain I was going through from trying to work up the nerve to tell the coach that tonight was the night when it was just all too much, and I couldn’t play?

I’ve been an NHL player for 11 years. And until very recently, I’ve had untreated obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD as we commonly know it.