This week’s guest is hockey star Brent Sopel, who most notably won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010. His amazing hockey career included time on 7 NHL teams and playing in over 1000 games.
As a defenseman, Sopel’s a tough-as-nails, block-all-shots machine. Outside the rink, however, things slowly fell apart as his undiagnosed dyslexia contributed to a decline in self-worth and eventually led to extreme alcohol abuse.
Discussed outside the Willowbrook Portillo’s on this week’s show:
- Coach Q’s firing: Was he scapegoated?
- The impact of dyslexia on Brent’s hockey career and his self esteem.
- Starting the Brent Sopel Foundation (brentsopel.com) to help people with dyslexia.
- 1 in 5 people have dyslexia: A stunning statistic many don’t realize.
- Brent’s period of numbing his discomfort from dyslexia with alcohol.
- When you can’t read, it’s pretty tough to pass any classes.
- Entering the working world after hockey.
- The intervention given to Brent and his subsequent time in rehab (Brent’s proudly sober over two years, as of this recording).
- Winning the Stanley Cup: “It was a childhood dream.”
- Brent’s discovery that he has dyslexia, and how it connects to his daughter’s diagnosis.
- Cold does not faze Canadians from “God’s country.”
- Why did Brent choose to “drop anchor” in the Chicago area?
- Have Brent’s kids taken up sports?
- Brent’s most memorable sports injuries.
- Canada’s national sport is not what you think.
- Memories of Chicago’s Stanley Cup parade: “I’ve got goosebumps just thinking about it.”
- What it felt like when Brent got traded after the Stanley Cup win.
- How loud is the United Center, compared to other arenas?
- Brent’s time playing in Siberia.
- Brent was “lost” when he was no longer playing hockey.
- The real world’s “not a friendly place.”