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

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