A lot percolating so lets get right to it...
TODD EWAN- DEAD AT AGE 49
And this list of enforcers succombing to tragedy continues with former enforcer Todd Ewan passing away at the very , very young age of 49. Early reports have indicated that the cause of death was a self-inflicted gun shot wound. Regardless, its absolute damn tragedy!. I just finished teaching my law class about the lawsuit filed against the NHL by the family of Derek Boogard, the tough guy who passed away in 2013 at the age of 28 from a combination of alchohol and prescription narcotics.
The list of fighters who have died is getting too long not to be noticed. Steve Montador, Rick Rypien, Wade Belak, Bob Probert, John Kordic, all gone before the age of 50. All guys who made their living either as a fighter/enforcer, or in the case of Montador, a tough and rugged defensemen.
The NHL, early in the concussion lawsuit, basically showed their cards and stated that part of their defense would be predicated on the fact that the athletes should have known better. While it comes across as cold hearted, at the heart of tort law cases, is the aspect of blameworthiness and forseeability, so the defense is a natural one. That said, as the deaths start to accumulate and the link is that all the men served as enforcers, the case against fighting grows stronger and the link of these men to CTE (essentially repetitive brain trauma) grows stronger.
It is probably too early to speculate about what caused Todd Ewan to do what he did, but hockey db shows Ewan with 1911 penalty minutes in 518 games in the NHL, with 150 NHL fights, according to hockeyfights.com. That is a lot of repeated trauma.
The Pre-season closed with a bang for the IceDogs, and it was not due to on ice performances. In fact our first broadcast featured a somewhat pedestrian 4-0 IceDog win in a game that was ragged, at times physical, and no ways a classic. That is not to indict the players, it is more of a commentary on exhibition play as a whole. The IceDogs have a strong lineup , top to bottom, and not too many available spotss, so the urgency for some may not have been there, as the roster is somewhat set in stone. Off ice though, things were a lot more interesting. Mercurial Josh Ho-Sang was sent home by the Islanders after Day One because he slept in and missed the first session of training camp. A lesson learned by young Josh no doubt. Josh has basically been pegged unfairly as a malcontent because he marches to the beat of his own drummer, and for sure he takes the odd shift off, and takes the odd long shift. He is so explosive and dynamic that his flaws get magnified more than most. However, what we have here is an articulate , out spoken , fiercly proud athlete who feels he is the best. A lot of people mistake that for arrogance and entitlement, and other things stronger. Unfortunately the stigma has unfairly stuck. Some of the Twitter commentary was head shaking. Bottom line is that he was a 19 year old kid who screwed up and got rightly admonished. Everyone else playing therapist, and dismissing him are simply way off base. The Dogs get things going in Sudbury on Friday to kick off the regular season.
My TSN 1150 debut turned into an eventful afternoon that had n othing to do with football. Technical issues, a biblical rainstorm, a malfunctioning scoreboard and using my cell phone to call the 1st quarter to call the game turned a fun afternoon broadcast into a really fun afternoon broadcast. Seriously, the stress level in getting on the air was high but we did it and as my good buddy Ed Burkholder says "Don't tell me rough the waves were, just get the boat to shore". We did that! Can't wait for my next gig!
HERE ARE SOME THINGS I COULD DO WITHOUT
- banter about the Blue Jays playoff rotation. In case you haven't noticed, the team is only 2 games ahead of the Yankees, and if they're not careful, we will be talking about one pitcher in a sudden death wild card game
- Maple Leaf inter squad scrimmage line combo's and updates. It's too early ! Also, while broadcasting pre season games is great content, it's also too early to speculate about the Maple Leafs, and any other team
- People who give Fantasy Football updates on social media. No GronkowskiPartyRoom I don't care how your wide receivers are doing
- The term Insiders, unless your name is Bob McKenzie
- The Emmy's- it is a sad realization that outside of sports, reruns and wrestling, I do not watch anything on TV. Now if they had the Treehouse TV awards, I'd nail it thanks to my four year old!