It’s not all about being a professional athlete | VIVA MÉDIA Skip to main content

A true icon in professional hockey in Canada, Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price reached out to the National Hockey League for help last week. For Patrick Bordeleau, former professional hockey player, the journey that Carey Price is taking is salutary.

Patrick Bordeleau is not hiding the fact that he used the NHL aid program some time ago. The same program that came to the aid of Jonathan Drouin a few months ago and now to Carey Price. For the former player of the Colorado Avalanche, that appeal he made changed his life completely.

“It makes me feel so good, admits Patrick Bordeleau. I have regular follow-ups with doctors. For professional athletes, there are so many factors that come into play. The performance anxiety, the pressure from the entourage and the team, the pressure to make a ton of money, it’s no wonder guys end up breaking down. Already in everyday life, people are under pressure, so when a team gives you millions of dollars, it is obvious that there are expectations that must be met.”


A professional hockey player is always under pressure. Sometimes, some players must deal with this enemy who once unbearable can destroy a career. “The stars will always find contracts. But, for the others, a few bad games and everything can change. Being in the NHL means being at your best for 82 games. Even during practices, you must be top notch. Even during autograph sessions, players should be happy and at their best. In my case, I played the role of “enforcer”. I knew what I had to do to play in the NHL. I would look at the other team’s roster and knew I was going to have to fight. I was so anxious that the day before a game I couldn’t even sleep. After a game, the adrenaline was so strong that I had to take medicine to sleep. I also played a lot when I was injured so as not to lose my spot. So, the drugs start and it doesn’t take long for the mental health to be greatly affected. The pressure of not wanting to disappoint anyone then takes an important place. The pressure not to lose your place on the team. In fact, as soon as you sign a contract in the NHL, the pressure starts. It’s not for nothing that it’s starting to come out all over the place and professional athletes are starting to talk about it. Since I am no longer playing professional hockey, that pressure is gone and I have never been happier.”


Patrick Bordeleau played with the Colorado Avalanche. “Me, it’s rare that reporters talked about me on the sports pages in Denver. However, for guys like Jonathan Drouin and Carey Price, they’re continually in the spotlight. It’s not easy for the players in Montreal. As soon as Carey has a bad game, he gets picked on. In addition, he is hard on himself because he knows his role and his importance. Sometimes fans say that this or that player are not “real” because they don’t seem to want to play for Montreal, but these people don’t know what pressure is for a Quebecer to play for the Montreal Canadiens.”

There have already been several rumors which suggested that Patrick Bordeleau himself heard about. “This was before I signed my 3-year contract with Colorado. I became a free agent on July 1st . There was a rumor that Marc Bergevin was going to make me an offer if I waited for the free agent market to open. However, after giving it some thought, I signed for 3 years with the Colorado Avalanche. In my case, family would have been close, my friends too, but I didn’t want to be under such pressure.”

Steve Sauvé


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