June 15, 2014

The Mysterious Death of Jack Leswick

The summer after a hard earned Stanley Cup victory is supposed to be a time of celebration.

Unfortunately for the 1934 Stanley Cup champion Chicago Black Hawks, it was a time of tragedy.

Most notably their star goalie, NHL All Star Chuck Gardiner, passed away weeks after leading the team to the Cup. Gardiner had ignored a nasty tonsil infection and valiantly played through it. But the virus spread through his whole body and cause a brain hemorrhage which immediately put him into a coma and later claimed his life.

Though that was a long time ago, Gardiner's tragedy is somewhat well known to this day. But the Hawks suffered a second tragedy that summer, as rookie forward Jack Leswick mysteriously passed away as well.

Jack - known by the nickname Newsy - was a rookie with the 1933-34 Hawks. He was a noted minor league goal scorer though he didn't play too much that season in Chicago. In 37 games with the Blackhawks he chipped in 1 goal and 7 assists. But it was enough to earn him another contract for the next season.

Jack headed home for the summer, travelling all over Canada. Late on August evening in St. Catherines, Ontario Jack headed out for a walk.

He never came back. His lifeless body was pulled from the Assiniboine River several days later.

Signs pointed to foul-play, as his gold watch from the Chicago Blackhawks that he always wore was nowhere to be found. His car also had disappeared. But the police dismissed the case as a suicide, something those close to Jack knew could never have been the case.

To this day his death remains a mystery.

1 comment:

Graham Clayton said...

Are there any other ex-NHL players whose deaths are believed to be caused by foul play?