Jori Lehterä, who has been playing abroad for a long time, talked about her depression and the ensuing drug boom.

    According to him, Jori Lehterä’s NHL career was a mentally gloomy time. Tomi Natri / AOP

    Star striker returned to kill Jori Lehterä said Sportscast podcast in an interview openly about the difficult moments of his career when he suffered from mental health problems and a drug scandal.

    Lehterä moved to the NHL for the 2014–15 season, when everything seemed to be running smoothly on the St. Louis Blues team. Although the power came comfortably, Lehterä lost his fire to hockey.

    – I was doing really well, but then I was struck by terrible depression and panic disorders. They all started in the middle of the game, Lehterä recalled.

    – After the rigging, the lights went out when I went to look for a replacement bench. I wondered because Takaking wasn’t hard.

    Lehterä scored 44 points that season, but in his own words, he was only at work.

    – I was at the top of my career, but hockey didn’t interest me. I wanted to go to the cottage.

    – After each game, I told my wife that one game less, Lehterä said.

    According to Lehterä, depression and panic disorder lasted for all three seasons in St. Louis. The power of the Finn declined steadily until he was finally trafficked to Philadelphia.

    – It started to feel easier in Philadelphia, but I had lost my grip.

    It wasn’t until Philadelphia that Lehterä began to get a proper explanation for his problems thanks to professional help.

    – It was purely due to overwork. I pulled all the time all the time.

    Jori Lehterä lost his gaming joy in St. Louis. Timo Korhonen, AOP

    A tangle of drugs

    After getting over the worst stage of his mental health problems, Lehterä was in the midst of a stir in Finland in December 2018. He was suspected of buying cocaine as part of a drug league in Tampere.

    The gallery woke up in the morning in Philadelphia.

    – There must have been a hundred messages on the phone and I was wondering what the gang now has. I went out to take some oxygen and see what the thing was.

    At that stage, no verdict had yet been handed down, leaving Lehterä in an awkward position.

    – All investigations were pending, which was a much worse thing for me when it was just a rumor.

    – At that point, my life was already starting to feel good, when the panic disorder started to end.

    By that time, Lehterä’s NHL career had virtually ended. Lehterä finished his last season in North America on the AHL team in Philadelphia.

    “Quite a media circus”

    In March 2019, Lehterä was sentenced in the Pirkanmaa District Court to four months’ probation for a drug offense.

    According to a district court ruling, Lehterä bought six grams of cocaine. The Turku Court of Appeal reduced the sentence to 15 days’ fine in October 2020, when there was no evidence of buying six grams.

    – It was quite a media circus in the finals, Lehterä said.

    The total amount of the fines was € 11,715 and in the end Lehterä’s conviction was a drug offense for trying to buy one gram of cocaine.

    – It became quite a big deal, but as a public figure, I understand that. I paid the fines and took the trot from the media.

    However, Lehterä said he was much more mature to deal with the matter than he was with a few years earlier with his mental health problems.

    – It would have been pretty scary if it had crashed at that time, but luckily it wasn’t until then.

    Lehterä also said in the podcast that he is harsh on drugs.

    – You should not touch drugs. Not cool, and I don’t recommend.

    “He who says no is a neat dude,” Lehterä said.

    Lehterä moved from North America to KHL, where he played for three seasons before his recent return to Tappara.

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