From Triumph To Tragedy In The NHL
By Brad James Lombardo 
hockey book
hockey book
"Profiles of six pro hockey players, all of whom tragically died while still playing in the National Hockey League ."

Bill Masterton, Terry Sawchuk, Tim Horton, Pelle Lindbergh, John Kordic, Steve Chiasson

Photographs courtesy of the Hockey Hall of Fame

Features:  Endnotes and player statistics


Profiles of six hockey players, all of whom died tragically, while still playing in the National Hockey League:

  • Chapter 1 - Bill Masterton (1938-1968)
  • Chapter 2 - Terry Sawchuk (1929-1970)
  • Chapter 3 - Tim Horton (1930-1974)
  • Chapter 4 - Pelle Lindbergh (1959-1985)
  • Chapter 5 - John Kordic (1965-1992)
  • Chapter 6 - Steve Chiasson (1967-1999)




















     Frequently Asked Questions

             Frequently Asked Questions Sign    

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions

Other author enquiries may be emailed to:



What is the book about?

The book profiles the personal lives, professional careers, and untimely deaths of six NHL players: Bill Masterton, Terry Sawchuk, Tim Horton, Pelle Lindbergh, John Kordic, and Steve Chiasson.  All six players were in the midst of NHL careers when tragedy struck.


Who is the author?

Born 1961 in Windsor, Ontario, Brad Lombardo actually grew up there but later moved with his family to southern Spain, in the mid-1970s.  He returned to Windsor in 1980 and eventually graduated from the University of Windsor with a General B.A. in Spanish Language and an Honours B.A. in International Relations. It was there that he first wrote on sports, for the University newspaper, when he interviewed former NHLer Brad Park. After graduating from McGill University in the late 1980s with a Master's degree in Political Science, he briefly worked as a sportswriter for a local Montreal newspaper, The Senior Times, where he interviewed former Montreal Canadiens' greats Maurice Richard, Jean Beliveau, Henri Richard, and Sam Pollock. In 1990 he moved to Toronto and obtained a teacher's degree before embarking on a 20-year career in education. He is currently a high school teacher in Richmond Hill, Ontario, where he lives with his wife and daughter.


How long did it take to research and write the book?

Researching and writing the book was a very laborious, painful, drawn out process, a real labor of love that lasted over a decade.  Actual research started early in this century and initially focussed on the early stars of pro hockey in North America, including Hod Stuart, Hobey Baker, Georges Vezina, Charlie Gardiner, Howie Morenz, and Bill Barilko.  Research on the six players who were eventually profiled in the book actually came later. 

The original manuscript for this book was much larger than the finished product; there were initially twelve players profiled, each with his own chapter.  They ranged from Hobey Baker to Bryan Fogarty, with a thirteenth chapter featuring short profiles on another two dozen players. Many of these players are mentioned in the preface of the book.

First-hand quotes were obtained from former NHLers who played with the six profiled players, but much of the research is second-hand in nature, with sources including various books, magazine articles, and newspaper stories. There is definitely an academic feel to this sports book, as each chapter is extensively sourced and there are detailed end notes and player statistics at the end of the book.


Tell us about the editors

Salvatore Ala, better know as Sal, is the Consultant Editor and was responsible for editing text.  We attended the University of Windsor together in the 1980s and he remains a good friend and colleague to these days.  Sal is a well-known author and poet who has published various books and broadsheets of his work.  The Associate Editor is Robert Osborne, better known as Rob; the original idea for the book was actually his, and his creative input to the whole process was very helpful. 


Who supplied the player photographs and who designed the book?

The photographs of all six players were supplied by the D.K. (Doc) Seaman Hockey Resource Centre, a division of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Special thanks goes to Craig Campbell of the HHOF.  Perhaps the most iconic of all six images is that haunting image of veteran goalie Terry Sawchuk in his New York Rangers uniform - it would be the last season of his storied career and also the final one of his tragic and tortured life. That very same photo appears on his 1969-70 OPC hockey card, his last ever as a player.

The book was very creatively and professionally designed by Pat Carito of Rebrand Advertising.


Where can the book be purchased?

Published in 2015 by Create Space, a division of Amazon, the book is available for purchase online at or  To find the book's Amazon sales channel, visit either site and search under author name and/or book title.


Does the author have any plans for writing or publishing another book?

Ah, the key to that question are the words "writing or publishing"; in his quest to have the hockey book published the author ended up leaving half the manuscript on the table, mostly those chapters on the early stars of pro hockey.  He is considering publishing a second volume on those players from the first half of the 20th century; as of now, is has been tentativey titled    From Triumph To Tragedy In The Early NHL. Then, of course, there is always that chapter 13 to consider....

At the same time, the author also feels that perhaps he has had his fill of hockey for now.  He has always fantasized about writing a book about his years as an expatriate Canadian teenager living in southern Spain in the 1970s (From Torremolinos to Eternity), but has always worried that he lacks the creative chops to get the job done.  A book about the contributions of Canadian volunteers during the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939 has always seemed interesting to him as well....