Lifetime Penalty

March 6, 2016

"I will die young." Mike Peluso’s voice trails off.

"That’s the way it is," he says. "That’s the way it’s going to be.” It has been 18 years since Peluso last pulled on an NHL jersey. Almost two decades since he last experienced the high of being cheered and jeered in overflowing NHL arenas.

Not long ago, Peluso sat in the darkened basement of his rural two-storey home on the tony outskirts of Minneapolis, Min. He emptied bottles of prescription drugs into a bowl, determined to end his life. Just then, his dog, Coors, ambled down the stairs. Coors is an aging black lab Peluso took home from a rescue shelter 15 years ago. If I die, Peluso thought, who would look after Coors?

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