Medical Help

Retired NHL Players need Medical help

The sport of Hockey is known for its high speed, full contact action as well as its hard-nosed and hardworking athletes. For over a century, Hockey has existed as a unique blend of dazzling athleticism and bone-crushing collisions. With the recent boom of interest in Hockey around the world, the sports medical world has begun to learn a lot about the long term effects of a Hockey career on the body as well as the mind. While a lot of the recent stars of the game have found careers and lives after hanging up the skates, what has happened to the stars of yesterday?

As much as Hockey has come a long way in efforts to protect the players with both rule changes and improvements to equipment, players from decades past played in a very different environment. These players were paid significantly less to compete in a sport that was exponentially more dangerous, while requiring so much more from these athletes. Things such as travel conditions, medical attention, rule enforcement and quality of equipment were very different in these bygone eras of the sport.

While a number of the former NHL athletes continue to struggle with the damage to their bodies, many did not wear helmets and concussions have played a big factor in many ​of the ​players lives​ today​.
The ​transition​ to life after Hockey, where the NHL​, ​NHLAA,​ the NHLPA do​ very​ little ​when it comes time to​ help these men improve their quality of life​ this​​ has to change​. ​ Th​​​at is the motivating factor behind​ Kurt Walker, a former Toronto Maple Leaf, to create ​”​Dignity After Hockey​’​ 6 years ago. Whether it was due to injuries suffered on the ice, or the struggles they faced returning to everyday life​,​ without the contracts seen in today’s NHL, Kurt Walker and ​’​Dignity After Hockey​’​ are dedicated to helping retired Hockey players with medical​, Dental​ or financial assistance.

Over the years, ​there have been a number ​a of incidents​ where players have needed assistance whether it be physically or monetarily. To many former NHL players ​have revealed the struggles that ​they face day in and day out​, whether it be substance abuse, medical issues, bankruptcy or suicide. With ​”​Dignity After Hockey​”​, Kurt aims to step up where the ​NHL​, NHLPA​, and NHLAA​ hav​e not always been there​. ​​​The most important issues facing these players today is​ to reclaim​ their dignity and​ their quality of life. Many NHL players from the classic era​ the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s​ live below the poverty line, having made good money for their era but​ clearly​ not the sort of life setting money seen in today’s NHL. These players need the help of doctors, dentists and substance abuse specialists, so that they can live the healthy lives that they deserve. Unfortunately, without the aid of the NHL, NHLAA or the NHLPA, these players cannot afford that help.

Kurt Walker and Dignity After Hockey are dedicated to doing what the​ NHL, NHLAA and​ NHLPA can’t 100% due because it’s just simply not in the budget; finding and providing care for retired Hockey players. If you are a doctor or a dentist or other health professional that can donate your services to Dignity After Hockey, you could improve the life of former players long abandoned by the league. Financial donations are also welcome, as they will help pay for the services that the retired athletes so desperately need. By helping Dignity After Hockey, you will be providing the crucial care that these players need. Help give back to the sport of Hockey and show the players that the fans have not forgotten their contributions.

​If you wish to help these players please feel free to donate at dignityafterhockey.ca

Sincerely,
Kurt

Kurt Walker
Dignity after Hockey​
770 480 7237