“It’s a great show of strength,” Brad Treliving told CalgaryFlames.com.
That was the reaction of Flames General Manager had when pressed by members of the media into Flames prospect, Emile Poirier, reaching out to him for help with an addiction to alcohol.
Heat fans can recall seeing the disappearance of Poirier from the lineup toward the end of the season and eventually it was made public that Poirier was on a personal leave. On the second day of Flames Development Camp, which the winger is attending, he met with the media to open up about his problem.
“[Brad Treliving] has been truly supportive through the process,” Poirier said. “It wasn’t easy for me at that time. The whole organization, they’ve been supportive. My teammates have been there … I’m working with a guy, Brian McGrattan, every day. I think he’s awesome with me. He helped me to go through that process. I want to thank him, too.”
“They’ve been with me all the way and I want to thank them again.”
McGrattan, as you may recall, went through a similar battle with alcohol and is now approaching nine-years sober. In fact, Poirier isn’t the first player to go through help with McGrattan as Flames forward Micheal Ferland struggled through the same addiction and used McGrattan as support.
Ferland, approaching four years sober and coming off a career year!
“When he called me it was like talking to a new guy,” Treliving explained. “There was a release of things going on. He sounds different and looks different. He said to me the other day that he’s looking at the world differently for the first time.”
“He was a dynamic player and now the work starts again but you can see the steps he’s taking to rededicating himself, it’s exciting for him and for us. I think he’s going to have a great summer.”
Poirier spent a few months in recovery and now finds himself spending the summer in Calgary to catch up on his conditioning ahead of training camp at the end of summer. At just 22-years-old, Emile’s path is clearer than it ever has been, and the winger is hoping that pays dividends for him on the ice.
“I’ve just got to play my game like I used to,” Poirier said. “Now that I’m fully focused on hockey, I think I’ve got to play my game and everything (will) go well. I’ll just do my job and we’ll see what happens. If it’s the case that I’m here or not, at least that I’ll do the best that I can do and I think it will be alright.”
“I feel good. I feel awesome and I’m ready to go.”