Brockton: Former NHL Player Discusses His Battle with Addiction

At Father Bill’s & MainSpring’s homeless shelter in Brockton, 40,000 meals are served each year.

On Monday, lunch had an extra impact, with a powerful message from a speaker battling addiction.

Former NHL player Kevin Stevens was born in Brockton and won two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1990’s. His career was at a peak, playing alongside Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr, chasing a third Cup.

But after a serious on-ice injury, an addiction to opioids eventually derailed his career and destroyed his life off the ice.

“It doesn’t matter where you’re at in your life or where you’re from,” Stevens told the group. “Addiction can happen to anyone.”

Rehab stints, arrests, and an endless cycle of relapse reached a turning point for Stevens, who was arrested and charged in May of 2016 on a federal indictment – conspiring to sell oxycodone.

“That was kind of the bottom because I had to make a decision, either I was going to go to jail or get clean and sober,” said Stevens. “It was beneficial, because it pretty much saved my life.”

Stevens, who has been sober for 20 months, said he once was a daily user just to survive. In discussing his battle with those in attendance, he said the key is to focus on recovery one day at a time.

“You listen to people, you get support from people who have been through the same thing you’ve been through,” said Stevens.

“All you have to do is get through one day then you get another day. It’s a great way to live. It’s saved my life, and it’s saved other’s lives too.”

His speech resonated with many in attendance, including Roger Cook, who works at the shelter and is in recovery.

“The way he spoke, I felt equal in the struggle. Even though he’s a big guy, he still sits among the common people. That alone is an attraction,” said Cook.

“The most gratifying part is I’m not alone. That makes me not single myself out, that bad things are only happening to me,” said Cook. “That opens up many doors.”

About Lenny Rowe

Lenny Rowe is one of the newest additions to the WATD News team. Lenny has won two Edward R. Murrow awards for breaking news coverage, and a Mass. Broadcasters Award in the sports feature category. He grew up in Pembroke and was an intern at WATD in 2012. A 2016 graduate from Suffolk University, Lenny now lives in Rockland. Outside of WATD, Lenny covers high school sports for The Boston Globe. Lenny can be reached at