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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Joel Hanley And His Family’s Legacy Of Love

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The Stars defender carries his brother’s memory everywhere – including in the number on his back. Plus, the Habs move on, Round 2 begins, and more.

Dallas Stars v Detroit Red Wings Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images

You probably noticed that Joel Hanley wore a new number for the Dallas Stars this year. But you may not have known why he switched from 39 to 44, or how much it means to him.

The number 44 originally belonged to a different Hanley – Joel’s brother, Jordon. Joel lost his sibling when he was a 19-year-old student-athlete at the University of Massachusetts, and the loss is something he carries with him to this day. The Dallas Morning News’ Matthew DeFranks devoted his latest piece to the story of how the Stars are helping Joel honor Jordon:

“I never thought I’d be able to wear, especially for an NHL team in Dallas, never thought I’d have the chance to wear 44, so it was just really special,” Joel said. “When I walked in, I was like ‘Wow!’ kind of reflecting on what it’s taken to get there and just thinking about my brother and just knowing that he would be so proud of me.

“He never got to see me play a pro game, so he was definitely looking down and really happy and proud of what’s happened so far.”

Jordon took his own life in 2010, a tragic outcome of his bipolar disorder. Joel has since taken college classes in psychology to understand more about what his brother was going through:

“Jordon was always so upbeat and high energy all the time, so I guess with bipolar disorder, you get super high and super low,” Joel said. “During the highs, it was his personality to begin with. And then the lows, maybe we could have done a better job of seeing the lows. But when things like this happen, you don’t really want to put blame on yourself, it was the lows that we didn’t really see.”...

“In the last 30 years, we’ve learned a lot about the mental side of the brain, and there’s so many things we haven’t learned, either,” Joel said. “There’s still a long way to go as far as understanding the brain and understanding mental health and how it affects [us].”

Matt has more. [SportsDayDFW]


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