The daily sports news cycle is crazier than ever. Don't have the stamina to keep up to speed? Around The Bases is your daily morning destination to stay in the know on the biggest stories in both local and professional sports. We’ll start at first base with an intriguing story or event, and bring you home with a must-read story in the North Peace sports scene.
First Base - Robin Lehner writes about his addiction and bipolar disorder
Robin Lehner played his final game of the season last year for the Buffalo Sabres on March 29. He was listed as being out with an injury for the rest of the year, but the real reason is he was dealing with sever depression and panic attacks, as well as alcoholism and an addiction to sleeping pills. Lehner wrote about his story for The Athletic, and describes the details of his final game, where he felt chest pains during the game and had a massive panic attack in the second intermission. "The second period began and everything started to get worse. That pain in my chest now felt more like pressure. Towards the end of the period, things started to get blurry and I couldn’t focus. I felt very fuzzy, but I battled like I always did," writes Lehner.
He eventually took part in a rehab program reccomended by the NHL and NHLPA, which included a three-week detox. After the season, the Sabres and Lehner parted ways, and the goalie says he had a tough time finding a new team as many were critical of him as a person and teammate without knowing what really happened. Eventually, he signed with the New York Islanders. It's an eye-opening story, one I am glad that Lehner shared. We can't afford to keep silent on these issues, and I applaud Lehner for being open about it and not trying to protect his secret.
Second Base - Stacy Memorial Horse Show goes this weekend
The North Peace Light Horse Association is hosting the third annual Stacy Memorial Horse Show this weekend at its grounds, in honour of Stacy Ollenberger, who died in 2015 from Cushing's disease. The show begins on Friday nigt, and continues all day Saturday and Sunday, beginning at 8:30 a.m. The show includes everything from dressage and show jumping to English Performance and western reigning, and is a part of the Peace Country Show Circuit and a qualifyer for the B.C. Summer Games.
Third Base - Tour de North starts tomorrow
The Tour de North, Cops for Cancer's Northern B.C. leg, starts tomorrow, as riders will bike from Prince George to Prince Rupert, arriving on Sept. 21. Three riders from Fort St. John, officers Rebecca Bojczuk and Spencer Owen and sherrif Joelle Jensen, will take part. The three held a jail and bail fundraiser on Sept. 5 to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society, which is the purpose of Cops for Cancer, raising just under $22,000. The Fort St. John riders are excited to ride for the cause, which is heavy on their hearts. I rode 5km on a bicycle a couple times in gym class, but certainly never across a province. The second day of the tour will see riders travel 185km, which is wild, but it would a great experience to put your body through that challenge, fuelled by a greater purpose.
Home Base - Humboldt Broncos season opener showed in powerful broadcast
The Humboldt Broncos played their first game of the 2018-19 season last night at home against the Nipawin Hawks, losing 2-1 in front of a sioldout crowd. TSN called and showed the game in its entirety, with many interviews and ceremonies included of family members impacted and for those whose lives were taken last April. The game itself was fine, there was nothing that stood out but it was close and good to watch, but the broadcast wasn't really about what was happening on the ice. I'll admit, it felt kind of jarring to watch the ceremonies last night, it brought back the sadness that I, along with many of us, felt for the weeks that followed the deadly bus crash. There's no way around that, I suppose, but I do hope that there can be a bit of normalcy to this season, despite the situation being anything but normal. One thing that stood out to me is the Broncos coaching staff and almost the entire team is brand new to the club, and I found myself wondering how they must feel, thrown in the spotlight, playing for the memory of people they didn't know. It reminds me of the movie We Are Marshall, and the real life tragedy that inspired it, as the movie is mostly centred around the players that played the following season. It's also interesting to think about the players on the Hawks, trying to win despite knowing everyone in the arena is very emotional and people all around Canada are pulling for their opponent. It's a terrible situation, a reminder of what happened, but powerful to watch nonetheless, reminding us that life is short and to look out for those around us, even if they're wearing a different jersey.
Around the Bases runs Monday through Friday. If you have a news tip or story to share, email Dillon Giancola at firstname.lastname@example.org.