Calgary Flames Prospect Emile Poirier Reveals Problems With Drinking

NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 25: Emile Poirier
NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 25: Emile Poirier /

A brave prospect for the Calgary Flames, Emile Poirier, has just opened up about his personal issues with alcohol abuse.

After taking a personal leave back in February, Calgary Flames Prospect Emile Poirier has just come out and said he’s been dealing with problems with alcohol abuse. Poirier, a left-winger, was selected at 22nd overall in the 2013 NHL Draft. He’s currently playing with the Stockton Heat, the Flames farm team.

Via Calgary Herald:

"“Abbotsford (the Flames’ former American Hockey League affiliate) was playing Grand Rapids the day after I got hired, and he had just come from Gatineau,” Treliving recalled, referring to Poirier’s professional debut in the spring of 2014. “This guy was the best player on the ice.“For both teams.”"

Calgary Flames
Calgary Flames /

Calgary Flames

Poirier’s stats have been declining since he started playing pro. In 2014-2015, he had 19 goals and 42 points in 55 games in the AHL (then it was the Adirondack Flames). Then in the following season, he had 12 goals and 29 points in 60 games. Then this past season, he had just six goals and 17 points in 43 games.

Even Treliving said that the numbers showed it all.

"“You say, ‘OK, there must be a reason for this,’ ” Treliving said. “The hockey is never going to work if the life isn’t in order … and, in some ways, it answered those questions about what happened to Emile Poirier.”"

And big props to the Calgary Flames organization for how they handled the situation. Poirier approached Treliving with the matter and they waited until Poirier was ready to come out himself and speak on the matter.

Poirier’s also been talking and working with Micheal Ferland and Brian McGrattan. Ferland, another Flames player who had also been dealt with alcohol abuse in the past, but he’s now over three years sober! So good on him! Ferland was also speaking and getting help from McGrattan, a former Flame and another former victim of alcohol abuse.

Via Calgary Herald:

"“I want to thank the organization, especially Brad Treliving for his support,” Poirier said. “He helped me. I had some issues regarding drinking off the ice, and I called him for support. It wasn’t easy for me at that time. The whole organization has been supportive, my teammates … Now, I’m looking forwards, and I’m fully healthy and here for the summer.“I don’t want to miss on any opportunities any more.”“I’m working with (McGrattan) every day,” Poirier said. “He helped me through that process … I’ve talked with (Ferland) a lot. He and Brian are there for me.“(Ferland) said it was a good thing (to open up about it), and he’s one of my good buddies. We talk a lot about it. Along the way, we talk about it.”"

Next: What Should Ferland's Next Deal Be?

It was a brave thing for Emile Poirier to come out and speak about this publicly, and we wish him all the best in the future. Because sometimes, there are more important things besides hockey.