Embed from Getty ImagesJust remember that sports stars never were and never will be all upright citizens. They are human and are fallible.
Rudy Poeschek played for the Tampa Bay Lightning from 1993-1997 as an enforcer racking up about 400 penalty minutes, six goals and 21 points over the course of 213 games. He found trouble off the ice through the years, and his latest charge is for assault, dangerous driving and driving while prohibited in his hometown of Kamloops, B.C., according to Kamloops This Week. The paper went on to note that the 47-year-old hasn’t appeared in court yet and has had a history of run-ins with the law.
Probably the most bizarre was in 2005 when he took his 1998 Lexus sports utility vehicle through his neighbors’ lawns while his 5-year-old daughter was in the car. The day ended with him getting shot by a Taser gun and a trip to the hospital for head injuries from the car crash, according to a story in the St. Petersburg Times.
Here’s the odd joyride from the St. Pete Times in 2005:
He and his daughter got out of the vehicle and a neighbor took the girl home to her mother, Poeschek’s wife, Heather.
When police came a while later looking for Poeschek, he wasn’t home and couldn’t be found, officials said.
He turned up 90 minutes later. A neighbor called deputies and said Poeschek was hiding in the neighbor’s garage.
When officers went there to arrest Poeschek, he bolted.
He dashed twice around a pond, with deputies in pursuit, before they shot him with a Taser, which stuns people with a powerful electrical charge.
Poeschek was arrested about 11 a.m. and charged with being a habitual traffic offender, driving with a suspended license, resisting arrest without violence, leaving the scene of an accident with property damage and driving with a child not wearing a seat belt, sheriff’s officials said.
He was taken to University Community Hospital in Carrollwood for treatment of head injuries related to the car accident. He was later booked into jail and held in lieu of $2,750 bail.
Authorities said he did not appear intoxicated.
The story went on to document past charges in Tampa for child abuse, false imprisonment (for holding someone against their will), giving false information to get prescription drugs and several charges for driving on a suspended license.
Obviously the enforcer needs help, counseling and you wonder giving his fighting history and apparent need for prescription drugs in one case, how much the retired and current NHL community has reached out to help the guy. You’ve read the stories on the concerns about enforcers mixing prescription drugs with their livelihood, some battling depression from concussions and some dying.
It almost seems like, at least for now, Ryan Malone, has a good support system around him, with enough people around him and enough self-awareness to enter the substance abuse program in the NHL for his drunken driving and cocaine possession charge. Pleading no contest to the charges, he’s allowed to continue his life with a few restrictions. Now that Ryan Malone is on his way to . He’s apparently in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area skating where reports surfaced he was talking with the New York Rangers for a potential try-out deal.
I don’t know how Rudy can or ever pull it together and move on, but he has demons he needs to face if he will. If you want to read an honest take on hockey players dealing with substance abuse and what led to it, read Theo Fluery’s “Playing With Fire” and Nashville Predator Rich Clune’s radio show or Google for one of several interviews he’s given on the topic. And if you need help, talk to a friend, talk to your parents, talk to a professional. Someone is there to help.
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