BOSTON — Former NHL star Kevin Stephens, who developed an addiction to painkillers after suffering a catastrophic injury on the ice, was sentenced to three years probation for conspiring to sell oxycodone.
Stephens, 52, won two Stanley Cup championships with the Pittsburgh Penguins and played on the 1988 U.S. Olympic team, had pleaded guilty in December to conspiring with another man to obtain and sell the powerful painkilling pills.
While federal prosecutors had asked for a one-year sentence, U.S. District Judge George O’Toole agreed instead to a sentence of probation and a $10,000 fine, and ordered Stephens to continue his drug treatment and give motivational speeches to others struggling with addiction.
A lightning-fast left winger who scored 726 points during his 17-season career, Stephens was first prescribed oxycodone after shattering most of the bones in his face in a collision during a playoff game in 1993, an injury some consider to be among the worst in the history of the sport.
Stephens returned to the ice the following season and retired in 2002 after stints with the Boston Bruins, New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings.
But he eventually developed a dependency on pain killing drugs which ruined his marriage and ended his stint as a scout for the Penguins.
Last May, Stephens was arrested with 175 pills of oxycodone in his car that he intended to sell to his co-defendant, Christopher Alonardo, who allegedly planned to sell them to other users in the Boston area, prosecutors said.
Stephens told the judge that his addiction and arrest were deeply embarrassing and he was sorry for what he had done.
“I wish it never happened,” he said, according to the Boston Globe. “It’s something that hurts me. I hurt my family, my kids, I hurt my parents. I hurt everybody.”