September 19, 2015

Todd Ewen Passes Away

Todd Ewen, one of the most feared NHL fighters in his day, has passed away. He was just 49 years old.

Nicknamed "Animal," Ewen played 518 NHL games with St. Louis, Montreal, Anaheim and San Jose. He scored 36 career goals and 76 points, while amassing 1911 penalty minutes in a career cut short in 1997 by a double knee reconstruction surgery. has him listed in exactly 150 NHL fights in his career, including playoffs.

The price was high. He underwent 15 operations, and once said he had broken every finger in his each hand at least twice.

But Ewen always wanted to be remembered as more than just a fighter.

"You take a look at Bob Probert," he told The Hockey news back in 1990. "He was known primarily as a fighter. Then one year (1987-88) he plays with (Steve) Yzerman and goes out and gets 29 goals and 62 points.

"I don't have goals set for myself like that. I just want to be able to look myself in the mirro and know that I have worked as hard as I can. I have never really strived for points. I just go out and do what I can."

Not that Ewen ever forgot what got him into the NHL. 

"We (tough guys) go out there and we all play rough, but not dirty. I go out there and I try to hit someone clean. They (the referees) do isolate the tough guys and I have to try to keep the elbows down and the stick in and keep from playing dirty.

"I don't anticipate how many shifts I am going to get or who I am going to be playing against. I just keep it day-by-day and that's how I keep my life in check. I know I am not a star player who expects to play every night. I have to go and work for it every day."

Ewen, who won a Stanley Cup with Montreal in 1993, had been coaching high school and collegiate hockey in St. Louis in recent years. He also owned a gym and was the author and illustrator of a children's book called A Frog Named Hop.

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