Fans oftentimes forget that the players they watch on the ice have lives other than hockey. When the final horn sounds and the players skate off the ice, their second life starts.
Their lives as regular humans.
Some people might see hockey players as their idol or role-model, but we forget that hockey players are humans, and many times there is a lot going on off the ice that fans are unaware of.
One of those players with a lot of behind the scenes is forward Michael Dal Colle.
Michael Dal Colle was drafted fifth overall by the Islanders in 2014. Dal Colle’s journey into the NHL was not an easy one, but it’s one he is immensely proud of.
Michael Dal Colle’s inspiration is his older brother, Jonluca Dal Colle, who has autism.
“[Jonluca] has had it hard growing up,” Dal Colle stated in an interview with the NHL.
Michael Dal Colle also mentioned that his brother makes him a stronger person and is very special in his life. Jonluca Dal Colle suffered with seizures, and has never been able to overcome them due to the fact that there is no medicine to eliminate them.
Michael Dal Colle has helped his brother through various seizures in his life. Something like this has caused Dal Colle to grow up and mature much faster than many kids when he was younger. He found himself with a lot of responsibility.
Of course, Dal Colle was willing to help his brother as much as he could while also balancing an NHL dream.
“I know I’m blessed with the opportunity I have in front of me in my career;” Dal Colle said.
However, Dal Colle’s personal life and adversities do not end there.
Dal Colle’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. Though she fought the battle and has been cancer free since 2009, growing up with something as hard as that must not have been easy on the young hockey player.
When he was 10, Dal Colle celebrated his birthday with his friends and family, but his mother was unfortunately unable to leave her bed from being so sick.
Dal Colle was too young to fully understand what was going on, but tried to stay positive about the situation. His mother is a warrior, and is one of the reasons he works so hard in the NHL.
When Michael Dal Colle takes off his skates after a game, whether it was a big win or a tough loss, he always counts his lucky stars that he is able to do the thing he loves most. Overcoming adversities is part of Dal Colle’s life, one that hockey fans do not fully understand.
Hockey players are human. They love. They struggle. They have lives outside the ice rink.