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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)

What listeners say about Pain Killer

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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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I had all the emotions listening to Painkiller.

Listened to this book in record time. Both my husband and I had OMG's, laughter and some tough to get through moments.

Nelson Mandela's quote fits Brantt perfectly "I learned that courage was not the absence of fear but the triumph over it..."

I don't know what would have taken more courage for Brantt...facing Georges that last time, going to rehab 4 times or writing this book and releasing it for all the world to read.

"...The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid,, but he who conquers that fear."~Nelson Mandela

This book is humble, vulnerable and triumphant, everyone should read it and/or listen to it. Enjoyed it from the Foreword to the Epilogue.

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raw truths

the fact that Brantt narrates his book adds such a great person feel , like it almost transports you into the book , feeling like your right there on the journey with him.

Brantts willingness to be so raw and so real is what sets his book aside from others. I truly believe the words in this book have the ability to change lives !

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Hometown Hero

Amazing and crazy rollercoaster. It’s a very brave thing Brantt has faced and shared with us and most importantly the ones who need to hear this for hope and light at the end of the tunnel. We love you Brantt and have always been proud of you!
Thank you very much.
Curtis Lavoie
Cold Lake AB. Aka Grand Centre 🤩❤️

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  • MPM
  • 2021-02-21

A great book. You won’t be able to stop listening!

A gripping story that is raw, human, and vulnerable.
This book provides real insight into how devastating addiction can be, and how the human spirit can overcome even the largest of obstacles. Brantt’s honesty is remarkable. This book will help others, and it provides a great listen! I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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honest and genuine

Very authentic from start to finish. This book has the tools to help many with similar struggles. Thank you Brantt for your story!

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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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.