Dark Times Define Us

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Certain things are going to knock you straight on your ass. This pic is the day after my knee was completely wrecked back in 2011. ACL, MCL, PCL, 2 teeth knocked out both of which went straight through my lower lip, a broken nose, and a concussion. All this with a 6 month pregnant wife at home. This injury would eventually completely change my career and life.
A 12 month recovery was ahead of me. I turned that 12 into 6 and made it back for a Calder Cup Finals run with the Toronto Marlies. Now granted in the long run this probably was not the smartest of moves, pressing my rehab so hard a times ;-). We never know what is going to happen. We take so many things in our lives for granted: the people around us, our families, our health, our jobs. This was the biggest shock to my system I had up to that point in my life, but what an amazing lesson it was.
Overall the dark times define us. They show us the light. Force us out of our comfort zone. Show us that the crystal ball we all hope for is not only non existed, but unneeded . Embrace the suck, enjoy the grind and your process, absolutely everything is possible even when the mountain looks unclimbable.  Sometimes the best things are coming when they seems so far away.

ML

TBT Mark Recchi

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This one has been a bit over due, so #tbt and congrats the the Hall Of Famer, Mark Recchi. It was an honor to be mentioned in the same sentence as you even if it was because of a trade 😉

The most prideful thing I have about being a part of this game is the people. There is a brotherhood involved that is second to none and it is boosted up by the amazing fans that support us on the ice. It doesn’t matter if we have fought each other, knocked out your buddies teeth (thanks, @cam_janssen25), been traded or barely know the guy or his family. You will always have someone to turn to and lean on. We will always be connected.

What continues to amaze me is that this sentiment doesn’t stop with the players. It continues on to the wives, girlfriends and families all around hockey. The support system we have created is something everyone involved should be proud of. I have only met Mark in passing and never played with him but, I feel connected to his journey and couldn’t be happier for him and the rest of the HOF inductees. So heres to you Recc’s, glasses raised, all the best and CONGRATULATIONS!

 ML

Next Step Forward

Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 4.20.34 PMJust when things get hard, is just when they start to get good. Sure it’s hard to not get that job, to be told no, to get bad news, to go through transition and not know what is next. The good news is these things don’t define any of us.

Our peace is right beyond the armor we have built up from our ego. A need for acceptance can make you more invisible than you could ever imagine. Travel YOUR journey and keep moving one step at a time.

Worrying about the path to our future can paralyze us with fear, and fear can cause us to never start to do. Take your step forward get in your lane and DO WHAT YOU LOVE. Everything you could ever want is within your next decision, your next step forward. .

ML

Cover of Foy Vance’s –  Cassanova 

 

I love Foy Vance’s music and even more his story. I don’t know the man at all, but I definitely think he would be a guy I would like to share a few Guinness’ with.
He’s an unbelievable songwriter in his own right. He has always stuck true to himself and the music he plays. He burst on to the mainstream through the help of Ed Sheeran. The story goes that Ed Sheeran’s dad used to take him to Foy Vance concerts when he was a kid. The songwriting style molded the way Sheeran wrote his own songs and obviously the rest is history for Ed. The coolest part? Ed Sheeran takes Foy Vance on tour and gained him the recognition that has been so longly overdue.
I challenge you to find out who your favorite artist’s listened to and I guarantee you will be in musical heaven. Foy Vance is a musicians’ musician. The guy has grinded, found a way, stood true to himself, and never gave up. BE THAT GUY.

ML

Trade Bait

Man, it sucks to get traded….or does it??? I know exactly where Matt Duchene’s head has been. He is a bonafide superstar….. Me, not so much. These situations don’t just affect the top. They go all the way up and down the gamut of pro sports. My first years playing for Boston were a rollercoaster. I was the B’s first round draft pick in 2005, a young up and coming player. Playing mostly in the minors and 3 years into my professional career with most of the personal accolades you can acquire in the American Hockey League for a defenseman to my name, I wanted a trade.

We were in the bowels of the Philadelphia Spectrum. The trainer leaned over, my face towards the wall avoiding the carnage, “It doesn’t look good kid, but we’ll put er back together”. These were the words that I heard before I eventually whispered under my breath…. “Fuck me”.  I had a deep skate laceration in my leg that ended up needing 60 stitches. I couldn’t walk and feared the light at the end of my trade tunnel was disappearing. It hadn’t.

So much of this game is revolved around timing. So much of this game revolves around who you get a chance to play for and who believes in you at the right times, same as in life. In turn, when things don’t go the way you want, you have to find a way through and prove the people wrong who don’t believe in you, and overall trust your gut.

 

Now that I am older, I look back on my situation completely differently. As business like as the trade may have been and as frustrated as I may have been (the reasons for that are for another post 😉), I consider everyone with the Bruins family to me. I believe they wanted things to truly work out in my favor. These people were integral pieces in my life when I was very young, from Claude Julien, Peter Chairelli, and Don Sweeney. They all taught me something different. I certainly didn’t handle every situation the way I wanted and maybe they didn’t either. At the end of the day, I owe all of them a huge “Thank You” for the lessons they taught me, the eventual chance they gave to a young frustrated kid, and overall the dream to wear that B on my chest. Something I definitely wished I could have done a little longer.

ML

Stronger Together

At times it seems we’ve gone completely mad. At each others throats for differences in opinion, opposite political views, or a heated racial backed debates. In a time where things have become so divided, it is puzzling why tragedy is the one thing that seems to bring us together. It is tragedy that shows the unbending olive branch we extend to our neighbors in a time of need, tragedy that allows people to part their view of everything and pick someone up when they are down, and ultimately tragedy that shows us how much better off we are when we are working together as a human race. The golden rule has long since been a thing we rustle out of our mouths to our children, without a moments thought of how it could effect our own lives. Could we attempt to cope with someones views by just accepting them as different and moving on? Could a political stance actually be debated on by what is really better for us as a whole, without special interests intervening, and could we once and for all wake up out of a million year slumber and notice that color, gender, age or race, should never be a divider of anyone or anything. Of course these ideals unfortunately may be pipe dreams for now, but the day we can part our differences and stand together, tragedy will cease.

I have never counted tragedy as just the disgusting insanity of a deranged soul discounting the lives of innocent people and acting out. Tragedy comes from not only these unfortunate moments, but also those in a school yard where a child is bullied and loses his confidence, where someone is discriminated against because of the color of their skin, where a political view alienates friends and families, where peoples ego’s have interrupted apologies. Thankfully through these difficulties there is always a hero. The one who stands up, the one who leads, the one who rallies the people around him or her to attempt to stop the “tragedies” in their place. This is where being stronger together begins for me.

I have written a song. Put words to melodies in hopes that these word to those melodies have some resonance, however minimal in someones life. We live in a strange time, where fortunately enough we can connect with each other as fast as you are reading this article or listening to my song, but unfortunately hate can pass through the same channels just as quickly. I have been inspired by the events in our world lately to try to spark some change, but the reality is there was change that needed to happened within me, as well. I am attempting to go through a transition many athletes know, many athlete fans have heard of, but very few understand. These thoughts, the tragedy in Las Vegas, the events that have gone on in my now hometown, St. Louis, have inspired me and showed me we are so much stronger when we are together rather than divided. For one I hope you have read this far because I feel it a rarity in our sport of hockey to have people express their feelings at all, let alone put words to paper or song to get them out there.

Above all, I hope you can find it in your hearts to somehow attempt to find common ground, bind together in a common goal of distinguishing hate, and spreading love. We always feel like we can do anything when we have support and there is no reason we should go through lives without the full support or understanding of those around us. Even if this comes from “tough love” because at least that means we care. I am attempting to raise funds and awareness for the people who have exemplified all of these things, the people who truly show we are Stronger Together

ML