#WATWB: Second Chances

The story I chose to share for this week is about a sports organization that is giving a second (perhaps a third, who’s counting) chance to a troubled former player. I know there are a lot of folks out there who aren’t interested in sports, so I’ll try to go to keep it brief.

In the early 1990s, Kevin Stevens was the National Hockey League’s best power forward. In other words, big powerful high scoring key player. He played with my favorite team, The Pittsburgh Penguins when they won the Stanley Cup in 1991 and again in 1992. If he hadn’t been injured during the playoffs in 1993, the Penguins might have won the Cup three years in a row. “Injured” is an understatement. As the article says:

When doctors peeled the skin down from Stevens’ forehead, they looked at all the broken bones and compared the damage to someone stepping on a potato chip. They put in metal plates during a 4½-hour surgery, rolled the skin back up and needed more than 100 stitches to secure it.”

Stevens never really fully recovered. After another season with the Pens, he bounced from franchise to franchise, alcohol to pain-killers, addiction to criminal behavior. At the low point in 2016, he was standing in front of a judge who took pity on him and sentenced him to three years’ probation with a $10,000 fine, instead of one-to-three years in prison.

Penguins owner Mario Lemieux agreed to bring Stevens back, to work with young players, to share his story and inform them about the dangers of addiction. You can read the whole story, here.

We read about sports stars who fall into trouble, all too often. We rarely read anything after their antics cease to be newsworthy. I hope Kevin Stevens can make his way back, and I applaud the Penguins organization for giving him the chance.

The “We are the World” Blogfest is in its fifth month of a year-long journey. This blogfest’s goal is to spread the message of light, hope and love in today’s world. This month’s co-hosts, Simon Falk, Roshan Radhakrishnan, Inderpreet Uppal, Damyanti Biswas and Sylvia Stein, welcome participants and encourage all to join in during future months. #WATWB is a blog hop on the last Friday of every month. Click HERE to check out the intention and rules of the blogfest and feel free to sign up at any time between now and February of 2018.





    1. Thanks Peter. Like anyone who gets a second chance, he has to save himself, but I think he can do it. And, if we’re lucky, he prevents some kids from making the same mistakes.


  1. Thank you, Dan, for this lovely post and sharing it with us. I think second chances are important and can boost the morale of someone who has missed the bus. I was a failure at my first school, I failed and then I changed school and luckily the teachers didn’t label me as one and suddenly I was breaking every academic record. That one year of utter disappointment taught me more than eight years of mediocre performance. I am glad that Penguin organization understands that sometimes people need a second chance.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Sharukh. Your story is also important. Second chances are necessary, but people have to rise to the challenge, as you did and as I hope Kevin Stevens does.


  2. Hi Dan – sad … that injury sounds horrendous and it seems to have affected his family as well as himself even now 20+ years later. So glad he’s had an opportunity to move forward with some help … and I certainly hope his words and talks will encourage others to keep away from any potential dangers … cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, the thought of Stevens’ head and how awful that must have been for him. I hope he can deal with his addictions and help the organization and its young players. Everyone deserves a second chance, but also it’s our responsibility to help people in the journey to healing and recovery. Nice story, Dan, and thanks for being part of #WATWB.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mary. After a smack on the floor that didn’t break anything, I shudder at the thought of 4 1/2 hours of surgery to knit your head together around a few metal plates. What happened to him after the injury isn’t all that unusual. Unfortunately, you usually don’t read the story until a “former athlete dies at an early age.” I hope he can rise to the occasion and find a way to give back to an organization that was willing to take a second chance on him.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lois. It made me cringe, too. I figured a lot of people would see “sports” or “hockey” and not bother with the article. So I wanted to include the key point. I can understand what set his downward spiral in motion. I hope he can make his way back.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Without a doubt, this is a wonderful story and recovery from a ruined life is an inspiration. Still, not to take anything away from this story, but the press spends too much time talking about the drama of bad behavior rather than extolling good behavior. My wife is good friends with the mother of BenJarvus Green-Ellis,(the former New England Patriots running back) they worked together at the City of Minneapolis. I have never met him but from everything I hear, he is well-educated, competent, capable, polite and has his head screwed on.

    We need more stories like that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We do! That’s part of the goal of the WATWB, to highlight the good stories that are out there. The news paid much more attention to his arrest than this story. And for every drama queen playing proffessional sports, there are hundreds of ordinary-Joe type players.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks Dan – good grief what a story. Chilling injuries for sure. Kudos and great respect to The Penguins for taking a chance on Stevens. May he recover well and fully and return to being a hero not only for himself, but to his family and everyone else –

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Just read this to my husband, Dan. We’re big hockey fans, so we really like reading about this (even though it has to do with the Penguins. :-) It really is true that so many athletes who get into trouble are never heard from again, unless they do something really heinous. Always good to read positive stories. Good for Mario. I hope it works out well.


    Liked by 1 person

  7. I remember the player, but not the story. Reminds me of Derek Sanderson with the Bruins- not injured, but became a homeless alcoholic. A fellow player helped, and he ‘came back’ as a commentator. We need the “good stories”. Thank you for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We all deserve second chances– may he be able to make the best of this one. Humanity has many aspects, but this one of compassion, of giving, of never giving up on someone–this is the one I like best.

    I’ve read so many stories like this one on the July WATWB, each an inspiration and a reassurance. Thanks for supporting WATWB, Dan, and thanks also for joining the team.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Damyanti. As soon as I read this story, I decided that I was going to share it with WATWB. There was another story in late July that would fit for “second chances” and I may share it next month. Compassion is so important.

      I’m only slowly getting around to the team stuff, still very busy. But, I added the badge to my sidebar 🙂


  9. I am so happy you featured Kevin Stevens! I believe in 2nd and 3rd chances!
    Robert Downey, Jr. and Tim Allen reached real “lows” in drug abuse and illegal activities but now one plays a great Iron Man and the other is “everyman” in many ways admirable! A lot of people forget about the past when they see how humble and seriously trying to improve from the people they were. 👏
    My brother Randy used to worry about beer, had a quadruple bypass surgery at 50, but says cigarettes were always a harder addiction to quit. He practices moderation in drinking and tries to share his “free” beers from Fathead’s and now, Saucy Brew Works with cans or bottles not completely full. I forget what they call them? Smiles sent your way!! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m not into sports but I do believe second chances can be a great thing. Thanks for sharing this story and for being a part of #WATWB


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