Were Sawchuk and Kordic doomed? Was there more behind Masterton's demise than just hitting his head?
WHEN A FORMER PLAYER passes away, the hockey community is saddened by the loss. But when a player dies in the midst of his career, it cust much deeper. Over 160 pages, From Triumph To Tragedy In The NHL tells the stories of six players whose lives ended too early: Bill Masterton, Terry Sawchuk, Tim Horton, Pelle Lindbergh, John Kordic and Steve Chiasson.
First time author Brad J. Lombardo does an admirable job of handling such a heavy subject. The book is thoroughly researched and recollects each player's accomplishments, the events that led to their deaths and the aftermath.
The chapters on Sawchuk and Kordic are particularly strong. Lombardo details how both were already broken men by the time they reached the pinnacle of their careers. Their untimely demises seemed inevitable.
And while the much-told story about Masterton's death is that he hit his head on the ice after being checked by two opponents, Lombardo gives several accounts that suggest contributing factors.