About Vincent Desharnais

Photo credit:© Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports
Robin Brownlee
7 months ago
I’ve got to admit I wasn’t familiar with The Sick Podcast with Tony Marinaro, but he did a terrific interview with Vincent Desharnais of the Edmonton Oilers last Thursday. It’s definitely worth a listen with Desharnais discussing overcoming anxiety and depression on the road he’s taken to the NHL.
It goes without saying that when you’re drafted in the seventh round, 183rd overall as Desharnais was in 2016, you’re a long shot to even play a single NHL game. Desharnais, 27, today has 36 NHL games in the books after being summoned from Bakersfield by the Oilers last season. His is a story of perseverance. 
Simply put, it’s been a long road – four years in college playing with Providence and parts of four seasons in the minors riding the buses and waiting for a break – including a 2019-20 season split between Wichita of the ECHL and Bakersfield, when he suffered a concussion that really challenged his mental health.


Apr 11, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Edmonton Oilers defenseman Vincent Desharnais (73) celebrates with goaltender Stuart Skinner (74) after the game against the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
“My first pro season, I got a concussion. It ended up lasting longer, developed anxieties, started having anxiety attacks, started being depressed, which led to depression,” Desharnais told Marinaro. “I wanted to quit hockey. Wanted to quit on life, pretty much. I didn’t want to be here anymore.
“At some point, it was either I go in the same direction, and it goes dark, or I get over my ego and the stubborn guy that doesn’t need help, and that’s what I did. I got over my ego and went to get help. It’s probably the best thing I’ve ever done in my life, honestly. I’m so glad it happened, and I’m so glad that I went through that depression and learned to deal with anxiety. I’ve learned to deal with life. Life happens every day. You don’t control life.”
That’s just a snippet from a wide-ranging interview, so give the rest a listen if you have time. For me, Desharnais is one of those classic underdogs that’s easy to root for – and that’s before listening to his segment with Marinaro. With all the steps Desharnais has taken to face his own challenges as well as those that come with trying to make it to the NHL, it makes for a compelling story.


Photo Supplied by Ace Bailey Children’s Foundation
Garnet (Ace) Bailey was just 53 when he perished with 64 others aboard United Airlines flight 175 when it slammed into the south tower of the World Trade Center 22 years ago today – on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.
Born in Lloydminster, Bailey won a Memorial Cup with the Edmonton Oil Kings before joining the Oilers as a player for the 1978-79 WHA season. He moved into a scouting role with the Oilers when his playing days were done and was a member of the team’s scouting staff for all five of Edmonton’s Stanley Cups.
Bailey was entering his eighth season on the pro scouting staff of the Los Angeles Kings and was travelling with fellow scout Mark Bavis, 31, that day as training camps opened around the NHL. As many times as I’ve written about this horrific day the last 22 years, it remains vivid. By happenstance, that’s even truer this year.
On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, I was getting ready to drive to Millennium Place in Sherwood Park for Oilers training camp with the TV on in the background when the images started coming out of New York. We didn’t know right away that Ace and Bavis were on United 175, but word came soon enough. That’s a day that gets burned in your brain.
I hadn’t been near Millennium Place even once in the last decade until yesterday morning when I went past it driving to Elk Island for a family outing. One glance took me right back. Garnet Bailey is gone but will never be forgotten by many. 

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