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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

What the critics say

“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)

"Pain Killer is not your typical hockey autobiography; there are no championships or heroic on-ice moments. It is a rare glimpse into the dark side of professional hockey that concludes with a somewhat happy ending - certainly happier than that one might expect.” (Winnipeg Free Press)

Featured Article: 8 Hidden Gems of Canadian Memoir

A quick search brings up lists of the memoir bestsellers: stories of celebrities, athletes, politicians and the rest. But what about the lesser-known stories? Unknown books? The unsung heroes? These memoirs can be just as - if not more - powerful, often because listeners can relate to them on a more personal level. We’ve compiled 8 of the finest hidden gems books of the memoir genre that tell these underrated but no less powerful real-life stories.

What listeners say about Pain Killer

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Total Honesty

Brantt was always someone that I thought about when any of my friends would talk about hockey. Since I did not really follow the sport it was the only way I could ever feel like I was a part of their conversation. "I have a 2nd cousin who is in the NHL" I would say, and when I had no real follow up information the conversation would go on without me. Having only met Brantt once I never really knew anything about him other than he was an NHL enforcer. Listening to his story I was blown away by his struggle. His honest approach to his story is powerful and I cannot recommend it enough. I couldn't stop listening and finished it over a 24 hour period.

1 person found this helpful

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Amazing story. Fantastic narration.

An incredible story. Brantt does an amazing job with the narration. The preformance leaves you feeling like as though he's personally telling you the story. The story itself is unforgettable.

You won't be disappointed!

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Fantastic

Honest and raw.
That’s all you can ask for when somebody tells their life story.

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Pain Killer is brutally honest

This was a great listen. Brant shares with unabashed brutal honesty the monster that addiction is. Sharing his journey will be very helpful for anyone battling addiction, or their friends and family who try to apply logic to a most illogical disease.

Thank you Brant for the courage to share. I felt like I was walking your path with you. You made me laugh, cry and think.

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A Real Look at Addiction

Excellent book which gives a straightforward explanation of addiction. There are many lessons to be had.

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A STORY OF RECOVERY AND REDEMPTION

I worked two high school summers for Brantt Myhres at the Greater Strides Hockey Academy. He was the first San Jose Shark I ever met and he signed my jersey. His memoir 'Pain Killer' is about fighting tough guys like Georges Laraque on the ice and fighting an even tougher opponent off of it: drug addiction. After being suspended four times for failed drug tests, Brantt became the only player to ever receive a lifetime ban from the NHL, proving he's a tougher tough guy now than he was back then. Sober for thirteen years and counting. This is a story of recovery and redemption that will help other lost souls wanting to change.

- Isaiah Berra

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Myhzie is a legend. He should be in a high position with the NHL

Myhzie is a legend. He should be in a high position with the NHL
Unteal story and test of strength and toughness to fight this everyday.

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Must Read

Amazing right in your face. Brantt Myhres doesn't hold back. At times you root for him and others you palm smack and ask WHY!!! Love that he read it!!

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Listen to this!

Fantastic listen! Great mix of history, humor, and genuine storytelling. Well worth your time! Keep it metal!

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I LISTENED STRAIGHT THROUGH

Some aspects of Brantt's story blew my mind. He came from brutal beginnings. His demons walked with him every minute of the day. He is incredibly lucky to have members of the NHL that stuck by him. Thankfully his daughter's birth helped him find his way. She is his angel. I hope he stays on course. This book brings out many emotions: disbelief, shock, hate, relief, HOPE.

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  • Colin Donnelly
  • 2021-02-21

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.

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  • JT
  • 2021-11-28

If you’re even considering this, get it.

This was recommended to me by a friend who played in the ECHL about 10 years ago and was in the “enforcer” roll as he tried to climb the ladder. This is not the typical genre I usually listen to.

It is an incredible autobiography of Brantt Myhres, written by and narrated by Brantt himself. It is INCREDIBLE to hear Brantt tell the stories of his past. Incredible is an understatement.

This is not a self-help book and there is no chest thumping by Brantt. You won’t believe the humility of this guy while you listen to this book. Absolute must listen. The person who recommended this book to me actually read the book. I don’t think reading this book does the story justice. You gotta actually hear Brant tell his life story in his own voice.

Brantt, I sincerely wish you the best of luck with your continued sobriety, fatherhood and your future. -Keep going

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  • Kollaya Triggs
  • 2021-09-18

Raw true story of substance over use

I found it terribly raw, and quite vulgar not necessary helpful. True story by the author who definitely tempted fate over and over again. Although, I must commend him for his vulnerability to be open and share his story.

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  • Brew2go
  • 2021-06-14

I love hockey.

Myze does his own narrative so that kept me interested. He had a lot of devil's living inside him that caused his career to end way too early. I am happy he got his life back together.

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  • Suzanne C Hoppins
  • 2021-04-12

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
  • 2021-03-19

Must Read!

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

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  • Mark
  • 2021-03-16

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.