Connor Ingram of the Arizona Coyotes
Photo credit: TSN

Goalie Connor Ingram Explains Why he Can't High-five Kids and Why His Career Nearly Ended Early

Published January 8, 2024 at 1:22 PM
Arizona Coyotes goaltender Connor Ingram is having a breakout year in the NHL at the age of 26. However, in a new interview Ingram states his NHL career was very close to ending before he went through the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance program.

After realizing he was drinking too much, Ingram entered the Player Assistance program in 2021 and discovered that he'd been dealing with a bad case of undiagnosed Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. That's when things began to click into place for him.

"I thought I had AIDS all the time, or HIV. That was where mine came from. I had read if you have syphilis, you'll get a rash on your hands and the bottom of your feet. So every 10 minutes I would take my socks off and look at my feet and be like, 'I'm still OK.'"

Ingram said living alone in a hotel room was not at all helpful when it came to his illness.

"If you have an OCD compulsion, the more you do it, the more your brain wants to keep doing it to make yourself feel better. So when you're by yourself like that and you have every opportunity to do it, it gets stronger and stronger and stronger. I would go to the rink and we would be on the ice for an hour and a half and I couldn't do those things for an hour and a half, I couldn't do it anymore. I'd be shaking."

Ingram said the therapy he received through the assistance program changed everything, teaching him how to not give in to the OCD. That therapy included going into public places and touching door handles and then just having to sit with it. However, the fear of infection remains somewhat, and there are certain things he just can't do, like high-five kids at games who just want a chance to interact with their favourite players.

"I always feel bad because these little kids are hanging over the glass, they want a high five. I know if I'll do it, it might ruin my day."

Ingram added he feared his chances at becoming a steady NHL player were running out, and he's very grateful someone convinced him to seek help.

January 8   |   641 answers
Goalie Connor Ingram Explains Why he Can't High-five Kids and Why His Career Nearly Ended Early

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