Former Canuck Corey Hirsch joins Hockey Canada board 'to create a greater house for our youth'

Hockey Canada wants to vary. And the previous Canucks goalie desires to assist.

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Hockey Canada, and hockey in Canada, wants a cultural shift.

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And Corey Hirsch desires to assist paved the way.

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The previous Vancouver Canucks goaltender has worn many hats: mum or dad, coach, broadcaster and realtor. Changing into a mental-health advocate has turn into his ardour.

And he’s now including nationwide sport group board member to the listing.

Hirsch, 51, was elected final weekend to Hockey Canada’s board, becoming a member of a powerful listing of eight Canadians who’ve stepped ahead to steer the nationwide group.

A yr in the past, going through a torrent of criticism over the dealing with of allegations of sexual misconduct by nationwide group gamers, in addition to sponsors strolling away in response, the board and Hockey Canada’s CEO resigned. An interim board stepped ahead, however final week’s election was about everlasting appointments.

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Hirsch has been targeted on his new profession as a mental-health advocate and public speaker since stepping away from broadcasting in 2021 — his final gig was as radio color commentator on Sportsnet 650’s Vancouver Canucks broadcasts. Hockey Canada is a chance to deliver his new-found talent set to a corporation that he’s lengthy been part of.

“I’ve sat in these locker rooms, I’ve been to each Hockey Canada-sanctioned event. I do know what it’s like,” he mentioned.

Hirsch began for Canada’s world junior group within the early Nineteen Nineties. He was the goalie for Canada on the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics, the place the Canadians misplaced within the gold medal sport to Sweden in a shootout.

After retiring, he labored as a goalie coach with Hockey Canada.

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“I’m on a goddamned stamp!” he mentioned.

He noticed a possibility to make change. As a mental-health advocate who’s been talking about his struggles with obsessive-compulsive dysfunction for six years, he’s usually talked about how society wants to vary, to be extra understanding of the mental-health battles, particularly younger individuals.

Hockey was all the time a lifeline and a guiding drive for him, even in his darkest moments. His OCD consumed his ideas, particularly within the mid-to-late Nineteen Nineties, when he struggled to carry out and missed video games.

But it surely was fellow gamers who helped him discover his method ahead.


Goalie Corey Hirsch throughout Vancouver Canucks 1997 coaching camp in Whistler. ARLEN REDEKOP / PROVINCE

“I say this all over the place, hockey saved my life. We’re beating the crap out of it however hockey itself isn’t the issue. We’ve obtained to weed out the unhealthy actors, who’re making it unhealthy for others,” he mentioned.

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“If we’re going to create a greater house for our youth, the place is there a greater place than this? How can I create change? I’m going into this with open ears.”

Saturday, he spoke with board chair Jonathan Greenbloom, a Montreal communications specialist who was re-elected after serving for the previous 11 months on the interim board.

“I’m guessing audit and finance isn’t going to be your factor,” Hirsch mentioned Greenbloom mentioned to him.

“We talked rather a lot about what my position shall be, what I deliver to the desk,” mentioned Hirsch. “My position goes to be with the individuals, they see me extra engaged on the cultural stuff, on inclusion, on issues like that.”

When Hirsch first began talking in early 2017 about his mental-health struggles, he printed a chunk on the Gamers’ Tribune known as Darkish, Darkish, Darkish, Darkish, Darkish, Darkish, Darkish, Darkish, which started the journey that has led him again to Hockey Canada.

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His post-hockey life concerned looking for out what his “grown-up” life could be.

“Publish-hockey profession, that’s what we’re all making an attempt to determine. All we all know is hockey. You’re beginning over.”

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