Former Sarnia Sting forward Daniel Carcillo is returning to the city this week to share his story and offer support to other victims of harassment, bullying and abuse.
“The whole allure around me is I have an NHL career and two Stanley Cups. I really don’t give a s–t about that,” said Carcillo, who came forward last year with allegations of physical abuse he and other rookies experienced with the Sting during the 2002-03 season.
“I’m a human being, and emotional trauma, physical trauma and sexual abuse is wrong, on any level. I don’t want it to be called hazing anymore, I want it to be called abuse.”
Hosted by the Male Ally Coalition, the event at the Lochiel Kiwanis Centre is aimed at Sarnia-area hockey players and family members.
The notice promises “no cost, no media, no spectators and no judgment.”
“It’s not a weakness to speak about your feelings, it’s a strength,” said Carcillo, who retired as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks.
“When you speak honestly and vulnerably you can hopefully impact a life.”
Mental health professionals will be hand for the special peer support meeting, said co-organizer Brian White.
“(We want to) get people out of the darkness so they can get connected to something.”
Last November, Carcillo initiated a national soul-searching after going public with descriptions of ‘hazing’ incidents in which Sting rookies were beaten with a sawed-off goalie stick and spat on while naked on the team bus.
Other players confirmed the allegations and shared their own detailed stories of abuse.
Carcillo said he has been contacted by several Sarnia-Lambton hockey players who shared similar stories after his revelations went viral.
Not certain where to send them for help, he contacted White and they began planning the event.
“It’s not the old adage of, ‘What’s said in the room stays in the room.’ That’s all a bunch of BS and I think it only harbours more abuse and allows guys to get away with it,” Carcillo said.
“Hockey culture is not going to be changed overnight. With this type of stuff, we’re just scratching the surface.”
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: Special peer support meeting for Sarnia area hockey players and family members who have experienced bullying and abuse. No observers or media.
WHEN: Friday, Feb. 15, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
WHERE: Lochiel Kiwanis Centre, 180 College Ave. N.
DETAILS: For more call or text Brian White at 519-464-2585