"An accident can happen to anyone, anywhere in any situation," said Tulsa Oilers captain David Beauregard.
That's how hockey humanized him. In a blink of an eye, Beauregard went from a budding NHL prospect to being blind in his left eye.
"A guy was behind me trying to reach my stick and he missed it," Beauregard said. "So his blade went under my visor and he hit my eye and I lost my complete vision right away."
In October 1994 at age 18, Beauregard's vision of NHL dreams faded. Because of his injury, league rules prohibited him from signing an NHL contract.
"It was a big part of my life, hockey was all my life," Beauregard said. "I sat down and told myself I couldn't cry, yell or hit anybody. I couldn't press the rewind button to come back from the injury."
So he put himself on the fast track to learning the game he loved all over again.
"I didn't want a bad accident to stop me from playing for good," Beauregard said. "I told myself why not try to see if I can do it again. If I couldn't at least I tried."
In life and on the ice Beauregard was working toward a sense of normalcy, practicing hockey for two hours a day and trying to get used to living with one eye.
"Anytime I would grab a bottle or glass I was missing it every time because I didn't know how far it was in front of me," Beauregard said.
The long road back to the ice began in 1997, scoring a goal in his first professional game with the CHL's Wichita Thunder.
"At first when I made a comeback I said if I couldn't score goals again I'm going to stop playing," Beauregard said. "My job's always been scoring goals my entire career."
Finding the net hasn't been a problem since. Over 500 goals later Beauregard's been an offensive force; something not even people in his hockey-loaded hometown of Montreal thought he could do.
"They told me I was crazy to make a comeback playing hockey," Beauregard said. "The thing I'm most proud of is I made a comeback playing hockey. I think it's my biggest satisfaction."
For a career that's included a UHL title and many other accolades, Beauregard doesn't pause to think what might have been in the NHL.
"I just avoid trying to thinking about that," Beauregard said. "I believe in destiny and maybe what happened to me came for a good reason. I'm really glad I'm still playing hockey."
"For sure I'm not making millions in the NHL but I'm still making money in a sport I love."