A man is sitting in a bar when a priest walks in. The man says to the priest, "Don't waste your time here. I happen to know there's no God."
Priest says, "Yeah, how's that?"
The man says, "I was exploring the north pole once. I got blinded in a snow storm during my time there. I was blinded and freezing to death and I prayed, 'If there's a God, save me now.' And, God didn't come."
The priest says, "How's that? You're alive. He must have saved you?"
"God never showed up. An Eskimo came along and took me back to his camp and saved me."
So I say again, maybe all players need is their own personal "Eskimos". The ones that save them from themselves and their demons. The ones that are there for them when no one else is. Hockey may be a family when tragedies come along but, during the year, it's mostly segregated sides watching battles of a year long war for the coveted prize.
Darren McCarty has "Eskimos". Now I do not know all the circumstances surrounding everything that has gone on in former Red Wing Darren McCarty's life. Truly, No one but Darren himself does. I do, however, believe that Kris Draper and Darren's ex-wife were Darren McCarty's "Eskimos". Darren's ex-wife was the "Eskimo" that opened his eyes and saved him from himself with merely just words. Kris Draper was the "Eskimo" that helped Darren work towards his goal of coming back to the NHL a few years ago. You see, players need people there to support them. They need people to be there for them when fans aren't around and the bright lights of the biggest stage in hockey have dimmed.
Players don't always struggle publicly as DMac did. Sometimes players keep the battles in their lives unknown to the public but very known to the people around them. I just hope that each of those players struggling with demons find their "Eskimos" and get saved rather than fall victim to their demons.