Patrick O'Sullivan played 92 games over parts of two season for the Edmonton Oilers during the early years of the team's rebuild. Given how he performed in his short time in the City of Champions it's unlikely that many fans remember him fondly. After stops in Carolina and Minnesota, O'Sullivan landed in Phoenix where he ended his NHL career less than two years later, just a couple of weeks short of his 27th birthday.
At Jewels from the Crown they got a chance to sit down and talk with O'Sullivan about his new book and about his time in the NHL. You should click through and read the whole story, but it was one quote about his dealing with PTSD that really stood out to me.
I wasn't asked by one team if I needed anything or could maybe use some help. The one time where I actually came to an organization - I was in Edmonton - and asked for help, it was basically like they ignored what I had said. That's just something that needs to change.
I'm not going to defend the Oilers here because if this is true, and I have no reason to believe that it isn't, it's indefensible. To ignore the person that's come to you to ask for help is just plain wrong, there is really no getting around that. Interestingly though it's not just a team level problem but as O'Sullivan goes on to explain in the interview, it's a problem with the players as well.
It's a shame that O'Sullivan had to go through what he did, but hopefully his story makes life easier for the next player who has to go through this same thing. I haven't had to deal with issues of mental health in my life, but having talked to those who have it's not an easy battle to win. Know what I know now I'll look at his time in copper and blue a little differently now, and I think I'll have to give his book a read.