It’s been a long and successful career – a career of fire and ice.

Glen Wesley, picked third overall in the 1987 draft by the Boston Bruins, enters the 2003-4 season with 16 years in the NHL.

He has received his share of awards, and been to more than his share of play-off games. He has played 1,173 NHL games, has scored 124 goals and has sat in the penalty box 859 minutes – the equivalent of over fourteen games. Listing his career highlights would take pages and pages.

He has patrolled the blue line with a steady excellence, and earned the respect of players around the league. He has warranted his ice time with his solid play.

Beginning his second tour of duty with the Carolina Hurricanes, Wesley was traded by the Bruins to the Hartford Whalers following the ’93-’94 season, bringing the Bruins three first-round draft picks in return – a price that demonstrated not only the Whalers desire to have a top-notch defenseman, but also the premium the Bruins placed on his services.

He has patrolled the blue line with a steady excellence, and earned the respect of players around the league.


When the Whalers moved to Carolina and began play as the Hurricanes, Wesley helped introduce a game played on ice to a southern city.

Traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 2002-3 season, Wesley re-signed with the Carolina ‘Canes as a free agent in July of 2003.

As steady as his career has been, there was a significant change in his life following his trade from the Bruins.

Defensemen often play with a sense of passion and fire, and Wesley was no exception. His on-ice demeanor was one of determination and drive, often fueled by anger.

But the fire was yet to come – lighted not on the ice, but off.

His wife, Barb, started attending church. Having been raised in a church-going home, Barb had drifted away from her faith for several years. After the birth of the Wesley’s daughter, Amanda, Barb sought out a church and began attending a Bible study.

But the fire was yet to come - lighted not on the ice, but off.


Glen noticed a difference in Barb. She seemed to have a peace she had not before. And that’s what Glen wanted. He felt empty inside. He wasn’t happy, he wasn’t settled, he felt no peace.

He started going to church, developed a friendship with the youth pastor, and, on what he terms an “ordinary” Sunday morning, Wesley prayed to receive Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. It was what he knew Barb had. And it was what he wanted.

He opened his heart, and the fire was lit.

He had grown up in a church, but had not heard about a personal relationship with Jesus. On that “ordinary” Sunday morning, Wesley traded in empty religion for a relationship with Jesus Christ. The old way hadn’t worked. He lacked a sense of peace and joy.

The new way has made Wesley a better person – a better father, a better husband, and a better hockey player.

He still can be hot-headed on the ice. Hockey is a game of high-speed collisions, slashing sticks, scrums along the board, cross-checks, pucks flying at 100 mph both high and low, and fierce rivalries. Becoming “heated” is part of what it means to lace up skates.

But now Wesley is in control. His faith gives him a sense of balance. His new approach is fire, tempered by a sense of internal peace and joy. He presents himself as an impassioned, yet peaceful leader, both on and off the ice.

And what lies ahead?

While he might not lift the Stanley Cup and skate it around the rink – an honored NHL tradition – he knows he is a winner, not just in hockey, but in life, and beyond.


Of course, Wesley would like to win a Stanley Cup. Hoisting Lord Stanley’s cup is the ultimate goal of any and every NHL player, and while Wesley has come close, having been to three finals, he has not yet had his name engraved on sports’ most legendary trophy.

His most recent trip to the Stanley Cup finals came in 2002, when the Hurricanes surprised the New Jersey Devils, Montreal Canadiens, and Toronto Maple Leafs to win the Eastern Conference Championship.

Against the heavily favored Detroit Red Wings, the ‘Canes won the first game of the seven game series in Detroit, then lost the next four. Game three of that series remains a Stanley Cup finals classic, Detroit tying the score with less than two minutes to play in regulation, and winning deep into the third overtime.

Close as he has come, the Stanley Cup has eluded Wesley.

But, in his mind, there’s something even more important.

While he might not lift the Stanley Cup and skate it around the rink – an honored NHL tradition – he knows he is a winner, not just in hockey, but in life, and beyond.

He has found his peace.

And that fire, lit on an “ordinary” Sunday morning, still burns brightly, and will for all eternity.

The ice will someday melt, and Wesley’s long career will skate to an end. The fire will burn forever.