Tuesday, December 04, 2012

On the Topic Of the QMJHL's Player Support Program

On Monday, the QMJHL started their week-long awareness week of their Player Support Program entitled "Let's Talk." The deal is that the QMJHL has representatives to every team and it allows the players to come forth with whatever problems they may be having in their life-- on the ice or off-- and give them the help they need in order to actually get better. The program was started in 2009, but seems to be made public just this week.

(Ed. Note: If it has been brought up before and I missed it, I apologize.)

Such a great idea that is long overdue, especially in Major Junior hockey. For a group of 16-20 year olds to be away from their family and face the rigors of a professional life at a developing age; problems are sure to develop to some, if not the majority, of players. While the WHL and OHL have yet made public their programs of the like, I'm sure they will have some players come forth to get something done.

Though is has come in like a lamb, the idea of this from the QMJHL is fantastic. While the QMJHL is fairly centrally located and the travel not too horrible, the fact these kids now have an outlet to talk about and not have to worry about being outed or shown as overly weak is a good thing and a step in the right direction. Especially with mental health and well-being being at the forefront of hockey in the past few years-- it's pretty solid to have a program like this available.

Granted, most teams and leagues may have such a thing in place already, the fact the QMJHL has made it public puts them to the forefront and puts it at a team-by-team level rather than a broad-stroke availability for the players in the league. This will be more personal for the players and allow them to adapt as they play and not have to get out of a groove or alienate them by having the player leave the team for personal reasons and start up rumors by media and fans alike.

Hopefully, some other leagues will come out publicly with their own outline of their support system-- but if they don't have it already, the QMJHL has laid out a great blueprint for those who want to follow their lead.

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