The hockey world is mourning the loss of former NHL tough guy Todd Ewen, who passed away Saturday at 49.
CTV Calgary’s Amanda Singroy reported Sunday that Ewen’s death was the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound and, "police are classifying his death as a suicide." Singroy added that Ewen’s family said the former NHL enforcer had been battling depression, “for years.”
Ewen was drafted in the eighth round, 168th overall, by the Edmonton Oilers in 1984. Before he could play a game in the league, however, he was dealt to the St. Louis Blues, with whom he broke into the league in 1986-87. Upon the news of Ewen’s passing, the Blues and their alumni association released a statement.
"We are deeply saddened by the passing of former Blue Todd Ewen,” said Blues chairman Tom Stillman. “Todd was an outstanding individual who called St. Louis home and continued to devote much of his time to the game he loved. On behalf of the entire St. Louis Blues organization, our thoughts and prayers are with the Ewen family during this most difficult time.”
Following four seasons in St. Louis, Ewen was dealt to the Montreal Canadiens in 1989, and subsequently traded to Anaheim in 1993. His career would come to an end following the 1996-97 season following a one-year deal with the San Jose Sharks.
Ewen suited up for 518 career games, notched 36 goals and 76 points and amassed 1,911 penalty minutes. According to HockeyFights.com, Ewen was involved in roughly 150 fights in the NHL, including a 27 in the 1995-96 campaign.
Post-career, Ewen had moved into coaching and, according to CTV Calgary, had illustrated and written children’s books.
Some former players and teammates of Ewen took to social media to pay their respects to Ewen, including former Blues teammate Brett Hull.
“I was proud to call Todd Ewen a teammate and more importantly, a friend,” wrote Hull. “Can't believe you're gone.”