Lorraine Belak said her son wasn’t bothered by being an enforcer and that he often said he would do any role if he was asked to stay in the league.
“As far as any head injuries or things like that, he never had any bad concussions that we know of. He had bumps and bruises of course … but no noticeable (ones),” she said.
“I’m sure he would have loved to have been the goal scorer on the team; however, his size and his toughness, in order to play in the NHL, that’s what he had to.”
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Don Fehr, executive director of the NHL Players Association, issued a joint statement Thursday saying that while each case is unique the “tragic events cannot be ignored.” They pledged to review the league’s substance abuse and behavioral health programs.
Bettman and Fehr said it’s important to make sure everyone in the NHL is aware of the resources available to those needing assistance, and that both teams and fans should know every option will be pursued to help players in trouble.
“We want individuals to feel comfortable seeking help when they need help,” the statement said.
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