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Daily Dish: Retired NHL Enforcer Mike Peluso Junior Hockey News

Published: Tuesday, 5 May 2020  
By: Stephen Heisler,


There is an absolute link between brain injuries to depression and suicide got the attention of retired National Hockey League enforcer Mike Peluso.

Peluso was very straightforward about his feeling on the subject. He is also less than impressed with the leagues concern for retired players.

 SH: What does the NHLPA do for former players?

MP: Nothing. They offer health insurance that runs $1,000 a month.

 SH: Is there a pension?

MP: Our pension is the worst in professional sports.

 SH: Does the NHLPA help you guys find jobs?

MP: They find jobs or give jobs to the super stars, but nothing for the tough guys.

 SH: Back to the head injuries article, have you seen or experienced any of these same type of problems?

MP: There is no question in my mind that brain injuries and depression are linked. However, I find it has more to do with low self-esteem. Former skilled guys suffered head injuries, and they don't appear to be suicidal. Also, back when I played, when a player retired, they say the divorce rate shot to 80%.

 SH: What has the NHLPA done?

MP: I am sure Bob Goodenow is living a nice rich life. Thanks Bob for all the lost wages, s--- pension, and no health care. He made a million a year, expense credit card, free car, and many other benefits, and never had to play a game. He is a 1st class crook. The 1995 lockout really hurt.

 Puluso makes some very interesting points in this exchange.

I love major junior hockey, so what I am about to say should not be taken as a negative towards them.

High end prospects need to take a long look at Peluso's comments. Reaching out to other former NHL players before making the jump to major junior would also not be a bad idea. Spending four or five years in college is a great way of making sure a prospect has something to fall back on, just in case the hockey dream is not at all what was expected.

The majority of retired NHL veterans are working and paying bills like the rest of us. Yes, Peluso was able to drink from the Stanley Cup, but I promise you that he is equally happy about getting his classes in at the University of Alaska-Anchorage.  

Author: Stephen Heisler from
Stephen Heisler has spent a lifetime in the game of hockey. Stephen is also working with individual teams, coaches, and players as a director with Victorious Hockey Company. Stephen, his wife Deysi, and four children reside in Orlando, Florida.

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