Sometimes real life hits us in the NHL world and it shakes us up to remember that sometimes those involved in the game are still human. Today, the NHL and NHLPA jointly announced that Nashville Predators forward Jordin Tootoo was voluntarily entering the league’s substance abuse and behavioral health program.
Per the NHL release:
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.
The league’s program to help its players with any issues they’re having in their day-to-day life like this reminds us that they do care about getting guys right. Vancouver’s Rick Rypien has already taken a leave of absence from the team this year to seek assistance with any personal issues he’s having. Like with Rypien, Tootoo is a guy who plays the game on the edge with a nod towards more violent and aggressive play. We can only hope that Tootoo can get the help he needs and he comes out of it a better person and a better player because of it.