Kevin Stevens (photo by ALLSPORT/Getty Images)
The Pittsburgh Penguins legend won two Stanley Cups in his career, but also battled demons along the way. With a new arrest and charges, it seems that Stevens is still struggling off the ice.
Two-time Stanley Cup winner Kevin Stevens has been charged with conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute oxycodone, a powerful pain reliever similar to morphine. As reported by the Boston Globe, the Massachusetts native was arrested along with another man and will be held until a hearing on Tuesday. Stevens' lawyer says he will contest the charges, but this isn't the first time the former power forward has been in trouble off the ice.
Back in 2000, Stevens was playing for the New York Rangers when he was arrested for soliciting a prostitute and possessing drug paraphernalia in a St. Louis-area motel room. According to a New York Times story from back then, police reported that Stevens had been smoking crack before and after picking up the prostitute. A cab driver and a gang member were also arrested in conjunction with the motel disturbance.
Stevens entered the NHL's substance abuse program shortly thereafter, but it wasn't the first time; he had also apparently been in the program a few seasons earlier as a member of the Los Angeles Kings. As his agent told Sports Illustrated, alcohol was also a problem. He would play parts of two more seasons in the NHL after the St. Louis arrest, with Philadelphia and finally in a return to Pittsburgh.
Once his playing days were finished, Stevens eventually caught on with the Penguins as a scout. According to my sources with the organization, the Penguins did everything they could to keep Stevens on the straight and narrow (the scouting job being part of their efforts), but it was a challenge. This latest arrest seems to back up their concerns.
Stevens was an incredible effective force on the ice for Pittsburgh's two Cup teams in the early 1990s thanks to his heavy shot and physical style of play. He was named to Boston College's "Dream Team" in The Hockey News' special issue of the same name, where he skirted the issue of his demons:
"Stuff happened," he told writer Shelly Anderson. "I went through some off-ice stuff. I had to deal with some issues…It's hard to say what effect it had. It definitely had an effect, I guess."
While it's unfair to guess about the origins of Stevens' problems, the power forward did sustain a traumatic injury during the 1993 playoffs when a hit on the Islanders' Rich Pilon went horribly wrong:
Stevens was knocked out cold and required extensive facial surgery in the aftermath. No matter the cause, however, Stevens is once again in trouble with the law and drugs once again appear to be the culprit.