Seattle Kraken players open up about mental health challenges

Conversations about mental health are sweeping through the NHL and having profound impacts on hockey fans everywhere, including right here at home.

SEATTLE — Gabriella Smith said hockey has changed her life in more than one way.

“I saw it live and was like, this is incredible,” said the Tacoma native. “I was in love after the first day.”

The learn-to-skate classes at Sprinker Recreation Center quickly evolved into playing on club teams and settling in a role as a team goalie.  But she said, there was also a feeling of dread. Gabriella explained she would have panic attacks in the crease, and couldn’t

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