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Publisher's Summary

Number-One Best Seller

"This book is at times startling, yet very real and down to earth.... I saw [Brantt] in all phases of his life and his career. I consider him a friend and an ally. Pain Killer sends a strong message." (Darryl Sutter, former NHL player, coach, and GM)

From the only player to be banned for life from the NHL, a harrowing tale of addiction, and an astonishing path to recovery.

Brantt Myhres wasn't around for the birth of his daughter. Myhres had played for seven different NHL teams, and had made millions. But he'd been suspended four times, all for drug use, and he had partied his way out of the league. By the time his daughter was born, he was penniless, sleeping on a friend's couch. He'd just been released from police custody. He had a choice between sticking around for the birth, or showing up for league-mandated rehab. He went to rehab. For the fifth time.

This is his story, in his own words, of how he fought his way out of minor hockey into the big league, but never left behind the ghosts of a bleak and troubled childhood. He tells the story of discovering booze as a way of handling the anxiety of fighting, and of the thrill of cocaine. In the raw language of the locker room, he tells of how substance abuse poisoned the love he had in his life and sabotaged a great career. Full of stories of week-long benders, stripper-filled hot tubs, motorcycle crashes, and barroom brawls, Pain Killer is at its most powerful when Myhres acknowledges how he let himself down, and betrayed those who trusted him. Again and again, he fools the executives and doctors who gave him a second chance, then a third, then a fourth, and with each betrayal, he spirals further downward.

But finally, on the eve of his daughter's birth, when all the money was gone, every bridge burnt, and every opportunity squandered, he was given a last chance. And this time, it worked.

It worked so well, that not only has he been around for his daughter for the past 11 years, in 2015 he was signed by the LA Kings as a "sober coach": a guy who'd been there, a guy who could recognize and help solve problems before they ruined lives and made headlines (as the Kings had seen happen three times that season). Not only did Myhres save himself, he saved others. 

Unpolished, unpretentious, and unflinching, Myhres tells it like it is, acknowledging every mistake, and painting a portrait of an angry, violent, dangerous man caught in the vice of something he couldn't control, and didn't understand. If Brantt Myhres can pull himself together, anyone can. And he does, convincingly, and inspiringly.

©2021 Brantt Myhres and Michael Landsberg (P)2021 Penguin Random House Canada

Critic Reviews

“This book is at times startling, yet very real and down to earth. As troubled as Brantt was, he was still a great teammate and a player I enjoyed being with. I worked with him in San Jose, Calgary, and LA, so I saw him in all phases of his life and his career. I consider him a friend and an ally. Pain Killer sends a strong message.” (Darryl Sutter, former NHL player, coach, and GM) 

 “A devastatingly honest account of one man’s struggle with seemingly insurmountable demons. Through a combination of raw talent and hard work, Brantt Myhres finally realizes every Canadian boy’s dream of playing in the NHL only to throw it all away at the mercy of drugs and booze. An enforcer throughout his career, it’s his battle with addiction that proves him to be the ultimate tough guy. Pain Killer is a knockout.” (Will Arnett, actor) 

“I met Brantt when he was working with the LA Kings Organization and he was open about his story from day one. In LA, he was a mentor for the players that found themselves going down a dark path, similar to what he had gone through. It speaks volumes about someone’s character when they can hit rock bottom, pick themselves up, and then help others up: that’s Brantt. This book makes his story accessible to everyone, not just players. I’m grateful for his courage to share and hopeful that it will help many others inside and outside of the hockey world.” (Paul “Biz Nasty” Bissonnette, broadcaster and former NHL player)

What listeners say about Pain Killer

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  • Colin Donnelly
  • 21-02-21

Wow

Incredible story. Someone is watching over you Brantt. You are obviously still here for a reason. After all you’ve been through your light still shines and it’s just getting brighter. Thanks for sharing.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Suzanne C Hoppins
  • 12-04-21

Inside the mind...

As a sober individual I was impressed with the open and honest truth of what it’s like to be inside the mind of Myers. The guts it takes to share the heart and soul of a fighter in the NHL. Excellent work by the author!

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 19-03-21

Must Read!

Great book about survival and will to live a clean life! Was a great audio book!

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  • Mark
  • 16-03-21

A Must Listen!

While ultimately this is a story of addiction and recovery it is also about human frailty and shortcomings and having the strength, wisdom , and humility to address them. This book will move you to your core! I’m thankful to have discovered it.

The only other “sports book” that is comparable is The Good Son by Mark Kriegle about Ray Mancini.