​(Source: ESPN.com) – Former NHL player Kevin Stevens has been sentenced to probation after conspiring with another man to sell oxycodone. Prosecutors had sought a one-year prison sentence for Stevens, but U.S. District Judge George A. O’Toole Jr., noting Stevens’ rehabilitation from a drug addiction, said “the risk of interrupting the progress that has been made is perhaps an unwise risk to take.”

Dammit, this sucks man. Addiction is just such a brutal thing. It grips you and it will do whatever it can to not let go. Kevin Stevens is living proof of that.

And I don’t want to say his situation is harder to hear about than the average joe’s substance abuse battle just because Stevens has his well known name engraved on the Stanley Cup a couple times, but this is a reminder it happens to people who had it all as well. I mean, Stevens played 874 games in the NHL and put up back-to-back 50 goal seasons in which he totaled 123 points and 111 points each of those seasons. He’s also only one of four players to score 50 and rack up 200 PIMs in the same season. That’s incredible. 

It’s a wild reminder whether you have talent, money, fame, or you’re just a loner that has always battled demons in private that this addiction shit doesn’t discriminate. Once it gets it’s claws in you it’s a fight to that end.

I wish the best for Stevens. I really do. I hope he wins his battle because there is still time for the 52 year old to turn it around. And as great of a player as he was, this would go down as the biggest victory he’s ever had if be can turn this into a comeback win. 

Rick Tocchet (left) and Kevin Stevens celebrating as 1992 Stanley Cup Champions with the Pittsburgh Penguins