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Former NHL enforcer lives in truck and can't afford important medical care

“I mean what can I do? Hopefully not die.”

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Former NHL enforcer Stephen Peat faced several tough fights in his life, but is currently facing the toughest one of all - the fight for his own life and well-being. 

Peat had three stints with the National Hockey League's Washington Capitals between 2001 and 2006. In 130 NHL games, he became your go-to fighter who put up 234 penalty minutes, and just 10 points.

Back in November, his father Walter made a desperate plea in an attempt to save the life of his son Stephen as a result of the effects of what Walter believes are multiple injuries to the head. In December, CBC reported that Walter had stated that Stephen is now threatening to take his own life, and Walter also laments the fact that neither the Western Hockey League, where Stephen played as a young man, and the NHL are doing nothing to help.

"He gets frustrated, and he gets upset, and he says 'I'm gonna go kill myself'," Walter said as per the CBC.

"You lose sleep over it, and you get thinking about it and you just think, 'Well, tomorrow's going to be the day,' you know?"

CBC got recent news of Stephen Peat, who answered their questions on his current lifestyle. However, the news aren't good. 

"Peat now has no fixed address. He sleeps either in his vehicle in Langley, B.C., or couch surfs at the homes of friends," CBC writes. 

"He's mostly estranged from his family, and said he's spent three recent nights in hospital because he hasn't been able to afford antibiotics for an infection on a wound on the back of his head — an injury he said he can't remember receiving."

CBC could hear the pain in his voice when they reached out to him. Despite Walter's claims that his son uses illicit drugs on the streets, Stephen said he was not currently using drugs. 

"I can't even describe [the pain] right now. My head feels like it's gonna fall off," Peat said.

"But I'm doing all right. I mean what can I do? Hopefully not die."

Peat, who cannot find housing because of previous criminal charges, is scheduled to appear in provincial court later this month.

"The fact is that I can't rent a place, because I'm a convicted arsonist with no job and a disability and no way of guaranteeing that I've got rental money," he said.

Although Glenn Healy, a former NHL goaltender and current executive director of the NHL Alumni Association, has explained that there are programs available for former NHLers like Peat, whether they be substance rehabilitation or financial support, the former enforcer says he is not interested in rehab. 

NHL fans know all too well the tale of the NHL enforcer who goes down a dark road after too many injuries, and it's not so long ago that we lost beloved players like Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Wade Belak.