Shayne Corson, Director of Beast & Buddies Life Enhancement Services:
Shayne Corson is the Director of Life Enhancement Services for Beast & Buddies. Shayne is best known for his two-decade professional hockey career and is considered to be one of the best two-way players in the history of the game. His incredible work ethic and dynamic skill set led him to 2,357 penalty minutes over 1157 NHL games spanning 19 seasons. Shayne was a stellar post-season performer, netting 38 goals, 86 points and 277 penalty minutes in 133 career playoff games. Shayne was a fan favourite throughout his National Hockey League career, which included stints with the Montreal Canadiens (twice), Edmonton Oilers, St. Louis Blues and Toronto Maple Leafs. Shayne was a three-time NHL All-Star (1990, 1994, and 1998). A proud Canadian, Shayne represented the Maple Leaf internationally on numerous occasions, including Silver and Gold medal performances for the Canadian World Junior Team in 1984 and 1985. Shayne played in the 1991 Canada Cup sharing the ice with line mate Wayne Gretzky. Shayne was also on the 1998 Canadian Olympic Team in Nagano, Japan as a line mate to Eric Lindros.
Shayne’s journey to hockey success was not a simple one. When he was 15, Shayne began suffering from severe health problems that would eventually be diagnosed as ulcerative colitis. Shayne persevered through the often severe-pain caused by the condition and managed the often debilitating disease throughout his NHL career.
“I wasn’t going to let it hold back from what I wanted to do.” – Shayne Corson on his battles with ulcerative colitis.
With this mindset, Shayne proved to the world that nothing could stop him from accomplishing his dreams and goals.
Since retiring from the NHL in 2004, Shayne has been successfully involved in the Restaurant business, as well as supporting numerous charity events. Shayne makes regular appearances on behalf of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Rogers Communications and many other organizations. Without a surprise, Shayne continues to be a vocal advocate for ulcerative colitis research and awareness. Shayne’s most important legacy, though, maybe his incredible bravery in bringing a greater discussion of mental health issues.
Sadly, there remains a pervasive stigma around mental health. Talking about it is often very difficult, especially in the arena of professional sports. Shayne himself kept his mental health issues hidden for many years before beginning to speak publicly about his battles in 2003. He understood how important it could be for someone of his celebrity to come forward and talk openly about this very human situation.
“I started to talk publicly about it a number of years ago because I wanted to share my story and let other people know help is available.” – Shayne Corson discussing mental health awareness.
Shayne’s courage has inspired many people, including other professional athletes, to seek care for their mental health challenges.
Shayne was one of the driving forces behind the creation of “Hockey Night in Barrie” (Now “Hockey Night in Simcoe County) the star-studded annual event allows fans to see Shayne and other NHL legends play with local celebrities and politicians. “Hockey Night” has now raised more than $1.2 million for the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH). Shayne was especially delighted to learn the proceeds from this year’s event will be divided between the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Centre, and the future child and youth mental health inpatient unit at the health centre. There are currently no inpatient mental health services available to youth in North Simcoe / Muskoka, and as a result, children must be referred to facilities outside the region.