TradeRumours
photo

Fighter, husband and father lost his life after 20+ career concussions, 3 years ago today

6 novembre 2019
"As a former fighter, we never lose the mentality that if you back us into a corner, we are going to fight our way out. And this may be the fight of many of our lives. We are fighting for a better quality of life." - Orillia, Ontario native Ryan Crowther wrote this 8 months before his death, on this day, November 6th, in 2016.

Crowther had suffered over 20 concussions during his hockey career and, at 37, was taken from his friends and family, way too young. He was an enforcer throughout his junior hockey career, beginning in 1995/1996 when he played for the Orillia Terriers of the OPJHL and ultimately concluding in 1998 when he suffered a severe, career ending concussion in an OHL preseason game.

Once his junior career had grinded to a halt, Ryan took several years off from the game to pursue an education. He would eventually return to the game, of course, joining the Australian League to find his love for the sport again before returning to North America. Once he returned home, Crowther spent 4 more seasons with 5 different minor league teams, once again in an enforcer role, fighting regularly. During the 90's, the long-term effects that repeated head trauma had on players were still somewhat unknown. Many still suffer the effects to this day, with little-to-no hope of recovery.

Crowther never made more than $500 a week as a player. He also worked as an Electrical Groundsman before his symptoms worsened to the point where he was often bedridden. The pain was so intense some days that it would cause his nose to bleed. Other days, standing up would often result in an almost immediate fall to the floor due to extreme dizziness.

By the time medical science had finally begun to establish what the long-term effects were, it was already too late for Ryan and many others like him. He attempted to reach out to other players who were experiencing the same symptoms that he was, even reaching out to the President of the CHL to grow his list of names to build a support group. In an interview with The Athletic's James Mirtle, he told the reporter, "I find that there is nowhere for someone like me to turn. Two weeks before your article came out, I was in contact with (CHL president) David Branch via email. I reached out to him because I thought he could help. I wasn’t asking for money, I wasn’t asking for help finding doctors, all that I asked for was information on other players who were going through the same thing that I do so I could talk to them. Kinda like a support group. You know our old macho attitude we tend to keep things in. But I am at the point now we need to talk to other guys dealing with what I am. Mr. Branch basically said thanks for contacting me but we cant help you."

As with countless others who have suffered repeated concussions during a time when they were not properly diagnosed or treated, Crowther would ultimately self-medicate, which led to his death in 2016. According to the official report, Crowther died in a taxi cab, early in the morning during a trip to Chicago with a minor midget team he was helping coach. A toxicology report found a fatal mix of drugs and alcohol in his system.

Crowther was survived by his wife, Sarah, and their two young daughters, Ryley and Kylyn. Despite having lost the love of her life to the game, Sarah doesn't stray from it. Her and her daughters continue to play hockey, with Ryley wearing her dad’s number 14. The Crowthers will be at Thursday’s Leafs game in Toronto against the Vegas Golden Knights as part of an annual remembrance of their husband and father. Ryan's favorite NHL team was the Leafs.

“I’m definitely not someone who says avoid the sport,” Crowther said. “That’s not it at all. I think it’s just about understanding the risks and going from there."

Source: The Athletic's James Mirtle
Should the league deliver stiffer punishment for head hits?
POLL
PRESENTED BY MARKERZONE.COM
Hockey - LNH - Canadiens de Montreal
Visiting Montreal for the 110th anniversary celebration , former Canadian Saku Koivu mentioned, among other things, that in his view, the entry into the NHL of young Kotkaniemi, was too hasty.
   I agree with the captain's comments
   I do not agree with the captain's comments
NHL LEADERS
POINTS GP PTS
LEON DRAISAITL 30 51
CONNOR MCDAVID 30 51
NATHAN MACKINNON 27 44
BRAD MARCHAND 28 44
DAVID PASTRNAK 28 43
JOHN CARLSON 30 42
JACK EICHEL 28 38
ARTEMI PANARIN 26 33
JONATHAN HUBERDEAU 27 33
PATRICK KANE 27 33
COMPLETE STANDINGS  
GOALS GP G
DAVID PASTRNAK 28 25
ALEXANDER OVECHKIN 30 20
CONNOR MCDAVID 30 19
NATHAN MACKINNON 27 18
BRAD MARCHAND 28 18
COMPLETE STANDINGS  
ASSISTS GP A
LEON DRAISAITL 30 33
CONNOR MCDAVID 30 32
JOHN CARLSON 30 31
NATHAN MACKINNON 27 26
BRAD MARCHAND 28 26
COMPLETE STANDINGS  
DEFENSEMEN GP PTS
JOHN CARLSON 30 42
DOUGIE HAMILTON 28 28
CALE MAKAR 27 27
ROMAN JOSI 27 24
VICTOR HEDMAN 23 23
COMPLETE STANDINGS  
ROOKIES GP PTS
CALE MAKAR 27 27
QUINN HUGHES 28 23
VICTOR OLOFSSON 28 22
ILYA MIKHEYEV 30 17
MARTIN NECAS 26 16
COMPLETE STANDINGS  
WINS GP W
BRADEN HOLTBY 21 14
CONNOR HELLEBUYCK 22 14
TUUKKA RASK 17 13
JORDAN BINNINGTON 22 13
FREDERIK ANDERSEN 23 13
COMPLETE STANDINGS  
SHUTOUTS GP SO
PEKKA RINNE 16 3
JAROSLAV HALAK 11 2
CARTER HUTTON 14 2
TUUKKA RASK 17 2
PETR MRAZEK 18 2
COMPLETE STANDINGS  

TradeRumours.com
Copyright ©2019
All Right Reserved.
Privacy policy