‘I had a difficult period:’ Former Blackhawks adjust to life after hockey … – Chicago Tribune

A professional athlete’s career, filled with many twists, has one certainty: At some point it will end.

“It definitely didn’t go smooth for me — it was very difficult,” said Nick Boynton, a member of the Blackhawks team that captured the Stanley Cup in 2010. “I was very depressed. I had some head issues and I was very fortunate that I had a good family to stay on me and stick with me.”

Boynton, 37, now a radio analyst for the Coyotes, says he is at peace after working through dark times.

In recent years, former NHL players Bob Probert, Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien, Wade Belak, Todd Ewen and Steve Montador — all who played similar physical, hard-nosed styles — have died after post-playing struggles.

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