Without a doubt, Gary Bettman controls the world's best professional hockey league. You may not agree with the NHL's rules and regulations, but you have to admit you like its rather innocent players as well as their gorgeous wives and girlfriends. However, don't let those positive things distract you from the fact there are unanswered questions about some of the players who tend to raise eyebrows for their addictions, partying ways, and prison sentences. While it's not really the league's fault they're acting in such ways, they're doing themselves a disservice by laughing their way to the bank while acting like they're making peanuts.
It's pretty much hard to call a player one of the worst players ever, as there's a reason behind each person being drafted by a professional team to play for one of the biggest stages in the world; but we've focused our attention to the players who have made headlines for the wrong reasons by continuing to be the life of the party and/or carried out criminal acts in which led to jail time.
Unfortunately, some NHL players never get out of their destructive ways, which gives them two options: resolve the issue so they can move on or let the issue take over their lives. There has been plenty of speculation in the mainstream media, so let's check out the players who are trying their hands at a new career path or inspiring others in an affirmative manner.
That being said, let's take a look at 15 former NHL stars who hit rock bottom after retiring and answer the anticipated question: where are they now?
15 Darren McCarty
Darren McCarty is best known for his strong fists than his scoring abilities. A four-time Stanley Cup champion (1997, 1998, 2002 and 2008), he served as the Detroit Red Wings' enforcer for the majority of his NHL career.
Let's not forget McCarty hit rock bottom during his time in the league. He filed for bankruptcy in 2006, citing $1.9 million worth of assets along with over $6 million worth of debt. As expected, he blamed his financial woes on personal issues such as an insufficient contract from the Calgary Flames, a divorce from his then-wife Cheryl and the 2005-06 lockout.
As of right now, McCarty quit drinking for the second time, thanks to his current wife Sheryl. He currently works in a pawn shop. He also appeared in a few episodes of Hardcore Pawn and even released an autobiography titled My Last Fight: The True Story of a Hockey Rock Star.
14 Ken Daneyko
It may be hard for some of you all to see Ken Daneyko on this list because he has worked as a studio analyst for the New Jersey Devils broadcasts since his jersey retirement in 2006. He later succeeded Chico Resch as the Devils' in-game analyst in 2014. But he has had his fair share of alcohol-related issues. Luckily, he eradicated his demons and rebuilt his life from the ground up.
Daneyko starred as himself in a short film titled Ice Hockey. He lives a seemingly happy life with his wife Margaret, daughter Taylor and son Shane in New Jersey. He seems to be living a normal life now and should have a job with the Devils as long as he wants it.
13 Bryan Trottier
Don't get us wrong, Bryan Trottier is a Hall of Famer who has played 18 seasons in the NHL for the New York Islanders (1975-90) and Pittsburgh Penguins (1990-94). He won four Stanley Cups with the Islanders and two with the Penguins. He also holds the league's record for points in a single period with six in the second period against the New York Rangers in December 1978.
Sadly, Trottier's on-ice success didn't carry over into the real world. His ice rink business on Long Island was a massive failure and forced him to file for bankruptcy for nearly $10 million in debt and just $150,000 in his name.
Fortunately, Trottier managed to get his life back on track. He became an assistant coach for the Buffalo Sabres in 2014. He also joined the second group of players to be named one of the 100 greatest NHL players in history in 2017.
12 Theo Fleury
Theo Fleury wasn't loved by many NHL players during his time on the ice, but we're glad he eventually overcame his demons. Throughout his career, he battled alcohol and drug addictions, which compelled him to retire a year and a half early. After announcing his retirement, he continued to battle his addictions until his second wife Jennifer tried her best to help her husband out.
Fleury went on to write an autobiography titled Playing with Fire in 2009. He also dropped a country music album titled I Am Who I Am in 2015 and wrote a song called "Longshot" for the story mode of Madden NFL 18. He appears to be doing well as a singer-songwriter nowadays. His past problems seem to be well behind him.
11 Chris Nilan
Chris "Knuckles" Nilan is a radio host and former NHL player. He was best known for his urges to fight. He was a right wing for the Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers for 12 years from 1980 to 1992. He won a Stanley Cup with the Canadiens.
In the documentary The Last Gladiators, Knuckles opened up about his struggles with alcohol and a wide range of drugs from painkillers to heroin. He totally hit rock bottom when he was arrested for stealing a bathing suit in 2009.
Fortunately, Knuckles was able to make it out alive. He moved back to Montreal with his girlfriend Jamie Holtz and currently works as a host for "Off The Cuff" on TSN Radio 690. He's on air from noon to 3 pm ET.
10 Mike Ribeiro
What's Mike Ribeiro up to now? Your guess is as good as ours. While Ribeiro hasn't officially announced his retirement from the NHL, his hockey career is over. He was most recently with the Nashville Predators but had been sent down to the AHL. At the end of last season, his agent expressed concern for his client, saying nobody had heard from him in weeks and had no clue as to his whereabouts. As far as his family was concerned, Ribeiro was missing for several months. Finally this past November, Ribeiro resurfaced and unsurprisingly, it was for the wrong reasons. He was arrested for trespassing and his whereabouts since then have remained a mystery.
9 Mike Danton
Mike Danton most recently played for the Riviere-du-Loup 3L of the Ligue Nord-Americaine de Hockey. He previously played for the New Jersey Devils and St. Louis Blues in the NHL for four years from 2000 to 2004.
Danton's NHL career came to a halt when he was arrested and charged for a conspiracy to commit murder. He confessed to hiring a hitman to murder his former agent David Frost. He spent 63 months in jail before being released on parole in 2009.
After being released from prison, Danton continued his hockey career in Europe and North America. He retired from hockey in 2017, and now coaches for the Valley Wildcats in the Maritimes. In terms of his family life, he's married with two children and seems to be living a normal life now.
8 Derek Sanderson
Hockey used to have a much different culture. Normally, players would not be spending most of their off-ice hours with a personal trainer or prepping meals for a week. Oftentimes, players would be enjoying the high life and didn't have to worry about social media catching them and what they did in their spare time. Former Boston Bruin Derek Sanderson enjoyed living the high life, as he made the jump to the WHA where he signed a $2.6 million deal. In retirement, Sanderson married a former Playboy model and opened up his own nightclub. Things went south for him, as he battled substance abuse problems and was homeless for a while. Thankfully, his old teammate Bobby Orr bailed him out.
He now spends his time giving financial advice to young athletes to avoid making the same mistakes he did.
7 Patrick Cote
Patrick Cote didn't experience much success in the NHL. He was drafted by the Dallas Stars with the 37th overall pick in the 1995 NHL Draft. He only played in eight NHL games in three seasons. He then signed with the Nashville Predators, where he scored three points (one goal, two assists) in 91 games in two seasons. He also played six games for the Edmonton Oilers.
Cote apparently took accumulated penalty minutes in real life too. After his retirement, he turned to robbing banks and was sentenced to 30 months in prison for two separate robberies in Montreal. He was arrested for a second time when police found 30 pounds of marijuana in his car in upstate New York. In addition, he has an armed assault on his criminal record.
Cote has already finished serving his sentence, but he has been shot by a prison guard for attempting to strangle a fellow inmate. Hopefully, he'll learn from his mistakes.
6 Kevin Stevens
Kevin Stevens is a retired NHL player who has played for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Boston Bruins, Los Angeles Kings, New York Rangers, and Philadelphia Flyers in a span of 15 years from 1987 to 2002.
Stevens' first cry for help was when he was arrested for drug paraphernalia and attempting to pick up a hooker. He then developed an addiction to painkillers following a few injuries to his nose and facial bones due to an on-ice injury. As a result, his numbers went downhill.
Stevens was charged with conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute oxycodone in 2016. One year later, he was found guilty and was sentenced to probation along with community service and a $10,000 fine. He later admitted his painkiller addiction destroyed his marriage and post-NHL career.
Stevens was named as the Penguins' special assignment scout in September 2017.
5 Sergei Federov
Sergei Federov is one of the best Russian players of all-time. He scored 483 goals in more than 1,200 NHL games. He was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame and International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame. He was also named to the second group of players on the 100 greatest NHL players in history list.
Federov's personal life, on the other hand, wasn't that great. He was defrauded $60 million by Joseph Zada, a man whom he invested $43 million towards. He filed a lawsuit against Zada and won, but hasn't received any of compensation. He lost a lot of money, some of his homes were foreclosed on and his cars were almost repossessed.
Federov currently serves as the general manager for CSKA Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).
4 Bobby Orr
Even the true greats like Bobby Orr aren't immune to facing adversity in retirement. Unfortunately for Bobby Orr, he fell victim to financial mismanagement during his NHL career and those financial problems increased once he retired. His former agent Alan Eagleson left Orr near bankruptcy, despite Orr having signed a contract worth $3 million with the Chicago Blackhawks in 1976. After his retirement, Orr owed“hundreds of thousands in back taxes and legal and accounting fees” due to his association with Eagleson. Orr has been able to bounce back financially, and his experience has motivated . him to helping other players. Orr now serves as a player-agent himself today, obviously seeking the best interests of his clients.
3 Tom McCarthy
Tom McCarthy is a former NHL player who played a total of 480 games for the Minnesota North Stars (now Dallas Stars) and Boston Bruins. He was the first overall pick in the 1977 OMJHL Midget Draft, which made him one of two players drafted ahead of Wayne "The Great One" Gretzky.
After retiring from the NHL, McCarthy got involved with a drug dealer named Carl Thompsen and ended up receiving a five-year, 10-month prison sentence for conspiracy to traffic marijuana. He was released in 1998.
Today, McCarthy serves as the head coach of the Espanola Rivermen. He seems to have stayed out of trouble since his prison sentence, keeping a low profile since.
2 Clint Malarchuk
Clint Malarchuk is now mostly remembered as the goalie who suffered a gruesome cut on his throat. When goaltending for the Buffalo Sabres, Malarchuk caught a skate in the throat and was bleeding profusely within seconds. Thankfully he was able to apply enough pressure and bought time for team trainers to get on the ice and help him. However that incident left him scarred. Due to his scary experience, Malarchuk fell into depression and even attempted to take his own life.
Thankfully Malarchuk survived these experiences and has since gone to rehab for his past addictions, stemming from that depression. He's now a motivational speaker and wrote a best selling book detailing his troubles.
1 Stephen Peat
Stephen Peat is a retired NHL player who mainly played as an enforcer. He was drafted by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, but Anaheim traded him to the Washington Capitals in exchange for a draft pick just says before the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.
Peat's life went downhill after his retirement. We can't confirm if he has CTE, as it can't be diagnosed until a person is deceased, but it sure seems like it. He pleaded guilty to arson by negligence in 2015 and his father sought a no-contact order against him in 2017. He described his son as a violent and homeless addict who suffers from severe headaches.
However, Peat rejected his father's claims, saying that he was disappointed in his actions and thoughts. Let's hope he'll get the help he needs.
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