Parent has written a self-help book designed to steel you to overcome fear, take risks, unleash your inner wolf and find fulfillment. It's called "Journey Through Risk and Fear." You can find out more about it at www.bernieparent.net.
He wrote it in collaboration with writer Michele Paiva and his manager, Dean Smith. Why three authors? Because the strength of the wolf is in the pack.
"A lot of people are struggling," Parent, 66, said the other day. "They're lost in the woods, going in circles. It seems like there's no way out. I look at my life and there's something there that could encourage people to come out of it.
"I lost an eye, my career ended suddenly. I hit bottom."
He looked for answers in the bottom of a whiskey bottle and found nothing but headaches. He embraced Alcoholics Anonymous and has been clean and sober for 30 years.
"When my career ended," he said sadly, "all I knew how to do was play hockey. I had no business experience. I knew no one who could help me. Finally, I looked in the mirror and I saw a human being, not just a hockey player, and that was the turning point."
That, and reading a self-help book called "The Secret," a gift from one of his kids.
"It changed my life," he said. "It took me back to when I was a little kid. My purpose in life was to win the Stanley Cup. And that never changed. I played in Niagara Falls, I played for the Bruins, for the Flyers, for Toronto, went into the [World Hockey Association] and then back with the Flyers. And except for that time in the [WHA], my purpose was to win the Stanley Cup.
"What you need is a purpose. You have to get rid of the fear, you have to be willing to take risks. Then, bingo, the magic happens. You meet people you didn't know existed. You surround yourself with people who have great ideas and are reaching for their goals."
Most nights, Parent was a magician in pads, smooth, slick, cat-quick. He had 12 shutouts the season the Flyers won their first Cup. Had 12 more the next year, when they won it again. That's 12 more than the Flyers' goalie tandem had this season.
The Flyers initially sent out rookie Sergei Bobrovsky against the Sabres for the playoffs, and now have turned to veteran Brian Boucher.
"The best way to approach a game is be prepared," Parent said. "Not being nervous, it's to be excited. Once you're excited, good things start to happen."
Maybe Parent can send along some old Stooges films to help.
"Let's face it," he said, "those freakin' guys were funny. I still laugh when I watch 'em. I did my preparation the night before a game. Game day, I wanted to laugh, to carry that good feeling to the rink."
Parent spends most of his time on his boat, "The French Connection," when he's not out and about making appearances. If it's good to be the king, it's not bad to be the last Flyers goalie to win the Stanley Cup. Doors open, meal tabs vanish, babes flock. Is there some small part of him that wants to retain that distinction?
"Nooooo," he said swiftly. "There is nothing more I would love than to see the Flyers win the Cup and have a parade again. I think back to when we first came to town and we rode down Broad Street on a float. Ten people, a Great Dane and a poodle watched. And a few years later, there were 2 million people at the parade.
"Winning that first one, at home, that was awesome. The second one, we won in Buffalo. And then flew home with the Cup sitting in the middle of the aisle. I sat there and looked at it, and looked at it, and it was beautiful." *
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