Report: NHLPA working on ‘back to school’ program for players

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Just weeks after Blackhawks forward Daniel Carcillo openly questioned the NHLPA’s exit program, TSN reports the union is currently working on a “back to school” program, aimed at helping current players adjust to their post-hockey careers.

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TSN has learned that for the past two years, [NHLPA executive Mathieu] Schneider and his colleagues have been quietly researching professional sports leagues around the world, consulting with sports industry executives as far away as in New Zealand about programs that help active professional athletes improve levels of education and prepare for post-playing careers.

The personal development program will see players receive counseling about personal relationships and parenting, and be given the opportunity to shadow executives in industries such as finance.

The NHL and NHLPA have each pledged close to $1.5 million over the next three years to the pilot project, though it’s unclear how much of the collective $3 million will go to pay for tuition and other fees at colleges, universities and trade schools.

Per TSN, Schneider said he was aware of Carcillo’s exit program critiques and acknowledged they had merit. Carcillo’s remarks came shortly after the passing of friend and ex-Blackhawks teammate Steve Montador, who died in February at 35.

“So after Monty died, I really did some research, kind of asking guys that had already moved on and that I had played with if they knew what our exit program was for the NHLPA and I was kind of astonished to find out that not one guy can tell me what it was,” Carcillo said.

“Right now, as far as the PA goes, we would receive a phone call to see how we’re doing and that’s pretty much our exit program.”

Per TSN, the union hopes to launch its “back to school” program this fall, which aims to eventually include retired players as well.