“I’m no longer a hockey player, I’m a mental health advocate,” Hirsch stated.
It is the next step in logical and emotional progress. One that began to tuck with moments of fame and fame along the way, into a world turned upside down, to try to live and make a living for the benefit of others.
There are two notable events, none more so than at the 1994 Winter Olympics when Hirsch, a minor league goalkeeper, suspended Team Canada to the gold medal match against Sweden in Lillehammer, Norway.
After making 30 semi-final saves in the 5-3 win over Finland on February 25, Hirsch stole the show two days later. He saved 40 balls past the Swedes, allowing the equalizer with less than two minutes to play. The famous penalty shootout in the seventh round ended with Peter Forsberg Score the winner with the famous goal, as it is often imitated, with a backhand, stretch, and backstroke. Known simply as “Foppa”.
In Sweden, you will find the likeness of Forsberg and Hirsch from that moment on a postage stamp.
Two years later, Hirsch was playing playoffs for the Vancouver Canucks, twice defeating Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche and the goalie. Patrick Roy In the first round.
That was one of Hirsch’s biggest memories of playing with Vancouver.
“I remember walking into a small restaurant to eat after a game and getting a standing ovation, it was cool,” Hirsch recalls.
Another giant moment. He sought help in his rapidly deteriorating health.
“This is where I was diagnosed, and it saved my life.”
Facing Demons, Facing Stigma
“It was during the following season withdrew Mike Bernstein (Coach Canucks) aside, at Nassau Coliseum, underneath, by this time it was clear, I had lost 30 pounds playing and couldn’t do that anymore,” Hirsch said of battling major depression and suicidal tendencies. He was in a dangerous state of mind.
“He moved the wheels, the organization moved the wheels, and the psychologist came to my house through the psychiatric group that the Vancouver Canucks was connected to, and they diagnosed me,” Hirsch explained.
“Maybe I got rid of my NHL career at that point because of the time era and stigma it was in, but it was also the same day I saved my life,” Hirsch said.
Hirsch will go on to play another 20 NHL games, all but three of which are with Vancouver. He spent nearly an entire decade playing at the Palace or in Europe.
After working as a goalkeeping coach and as a television analyst, Hirsch finally got on the conscience of the North American sports world with him. Player Tribune Article titled “Dark, Dark, Dark, Dark, Dark, Dark, Dark, Dark, Dark, Dark” in 2017.
It remains a benchmark in mental health awareness for everyone in the worlds of sport.
He was too brave and blew everyone away.
full time advocacy
Hirsch will release a book on October 11, titled “Saving My Life: My Journey Out of Darkness” with the help of the same man who helped him with his article, Sean Patrick Conboy.
It’s the story of Hirsch’s powerful mental health journey, parts of which he shares on his Players Tribune podcast “Blindsided” with Dr. Diane McIntosh. There are contributions from other athletes and doctors.
“They’re other men, people who tell similar stories to mine,” Hirsch said.
Sometimes there can be a religious component, but it is not a predominant theme. Or as a former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner Put it, “I am using the Bible as a guide to life, not as a weapon.”
Hirsch says he believes in a higher power.
“If faith is the thing that gets you past your mental health, I support that by a thousand percent,” Hirsch said.
Ultimately, Hirsch stands a thousand percent behind the call. Busy public speaker, host, and now writer.
Good reasons to leave the world of hockey and daily sports broadcasts behind.