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Community Impact

Stanley Cup winner Brent Sopel talks hockey, recovery at Rosecrance

Sopel sought treatment for his substance use last summer.

Former Chicago Blackhawks player and Stanley Cup winner Brent Sopel shared his hopeful story of recovery from alcohol addiction as part of a Rosecrance outreach event March 22 at Carnivale in Chicago.

Sopel sought treatment for his substance use last summer and has volunteered his time to speak to clients at Rosecrance Lakeview, a recovery home and outpatient clinic that specializes in treating young adults in Chicago. Without treatment, Sopel said he wouldn’t be here today.

“I would have left four kids behind. I would have left behind family and friends who are here to support me,” he told the crowd. “The kids who come to Rosecrance are lost. I was lost. Everybody knows me as a hockey player, but I didn’t know who I was. If it wasn’t for a facility exactly like Lakeview, I wouldn’t be here.”

Sopel recently published his personal story, titled “Lost in My Mind,” March 7 in The Players’ Tribune. He recalled growing up on a farm in Saskatchewan and detailed his rise through the NHL, including the Stanley Cup-winning season with the Blackhawks in 2010, as well as his struggles with the learning disabilities dyslexia and dysgraphia, and alcoholism.

Sopel recalled relating to a Lakeview client who also struggled with a learning disability. He plans to do more outreach and advocacy associated with addiction.

“Everybody will be touched somehow, in some way by this, whether it’s a son, daughter, niece, nephew, grandson or granddaughter,” he said. “This is affecting kids, and we need to do as much as we can to help them.”

Rosecrance Health Network President/CEO Philip Eaton and Rosecrance Foundation Chicago Board Chair John McDonough also spoke briefly about importance of treatment work.

“Lakeview specializes in treating young adults in early recovery. These are young people who have hopes and dreams, and Rosecrance literally helps them launch to life,” Eaton said. “They come to us to learn many skills. They get the support, structure and accountability to move forward.

“We’re so thankful to Brent for telling his story and giving our clients hope.”

Special thanks to our event sponsors Mariner Wealth Advisors and Keefe, Campbell, Biery & Associates, LLC; to Ms. Jennifer Martelotti for her extraordinary help organizing this first-time event; and to Bill Marovitz and the amazing crew at Carnivale for hosting the event.

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