Forward apologized for missing golf event

Updated: August 29, 2003, 9:14 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Detroit Red Wings forward Darren McCarty, citing a long running battle with substance abuse, apologized Friday for not attending his annual charity golf tournament earlier in the week, TSN reported on its Web site.

"For the past seven years, I have actively fought a substance abuse issue," McCarty said in a statement on the site. "While most people do not recognize that this personal challenge exists on a day-to-day basis, it is an ongoing concern I will carry for the rest of my entire life.

"This offseason, it became apparent to me that my efforts required additional attention," he said. "I wanted to address the issue before the upcoming season and voluntarily began a maintenance program three weeks ago."

He has admitted to being an alcoholic in the past.

McCarty has spent his entire 10-season career in Detroit. In July, he agreed to a four-year deal with the Red Wings and that kept him from becoming an unrestricted free agent.

He scored 13 goals and had nine assists in 73 games last season.