Update from an earlier story-
Via Yahoo Sports' Puck Daddy, former St. Louis Blues enforcer Todd Ewen took his own life this weekend at the age of 49. When Ewen's death was first announced, the details weren't made available. It was a sad day to hear about someone who had been so involved with the community of hockey gone so suddenly. Now that the details are out, the story has taken a much darker turn.
Ewen, a 230 pound winger known more for what he could with his fists more than his stick, broke in with the Blues in the 1986-87 season. He won a Stanley Cup ring in 1993 with the Montreal Canadiens before finishing up with the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks. He scored a career high 9 goals in the 1993-94 season in Anaheim and collected a career high 285 penalty minutes in 1995-96. Ewen was an old school enforcer, a hockey player with a badge on his chest when he took the ice, keeping opposing goons off his star teammates like Brett Hull and later on Teemu Selanne.
With the enforcer label suffering a slow death in the NHL, it's especially sad to see such a tragic end to one of its original warriors. Amanda Singroy, a reporter with CTV news in Calgary, revealed that Ewen's family said Todd suffered from depression in the latter stages of his life, which is the polar opposite of what his public persona showed. Ewen was a coach with Saint Louis University's hockey team up until last year and heavily involved with the community.
The painful part of being a sports fan at times is not knowing what is really going on inside an athlete's head. The separation from ice to the home. We think all their problems off the ice are easy and they just play hockey but the brutality of life affects them as well. That reality is becoming more clear lately with the CTE study in the NFL and the painful off ice life of other former enforcers.
The hardest part of this breaking update is the effect it will have on Ewen's family. When someone takes their own life, their family is left to wonder what went wrong, what could have been done to help prevent it and how they move on. That is who I am thinking about. Ewen's wife and his kids. It's a sad day in the world of hockey as the new season gets fired up.
As a fictional boxing champ once said, nothing hits you harder than life.
Rest in peace, Todd Ewen. One of the NHL's last true tough guys.