March 22, 1966|
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
September 19, 2015 (aged 49)|
Wildwood, Missouri, USA
|Height||6 ft 3 in (191 cm)|
|Weight||230 lb (100 kg; 16 st 6 lb)|
St. Louis Blues|
Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
San Jose Sharks
168th overall, 1984|
Todd Gordon Ewen (March 22, 1966 – September 19, 2015) was a Canadian professional ice hockey player who played for several teams in the NHL. A right wing, Ewen was primarily known as an enforcer. He played for the St. Louis Blues, Montreal Canadiens, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and San Jose Sharks. Ewen retired with 1,911 penalty minutes, putting him 58th for all-time career. He was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and raised in St. Albert, Alberta. Ewen won the Stanley Cup in 1993 with the Canadiens.
After leaving his professional career Ewen made several coaching videos with Championship Productions on "How to buy equipment for your child", "Break out Basics" and "Checking". He also was coaching director for the Chesterfield Hockey Association, Lafayette Varsity head coach and assistant coach for Saint Louis University Billikens.
In 2015, after allegedly suffering from depression for several years, Ewen took his own life. His family wondered if he might have suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy as a result of concussions he had suffered during his playing career, like some other recently deceased NHL enforcers. However, tests of his brain came back negative for CTE.
Ewen started his junior career with the Kamloops Junior Oilers at age 16. He started the season in Kamloops but was traded to the Nanaimo Lakers at the end of the season. That was the last year that the team was in Nanaimo and they moved back to New Westminster. Ewen played three years for the New Westminster Bruins of the WHL, where he was awarded the most improved player by the WHL and served as the assistant captain. At New Westminster, Ewen was teammates with future NHL players Mark Recchi, Bill Ranford, Cliff Ronning and Brian Noonan, as well as with his younger brother Dean, who would go on to be a career minor league enforcer.
In his last year with the Bruins he had 6 points and over 200 minutes in penalties at Christmas. Oilers head scout Barry Fraser flew in to see his performance. He instructed Ewen to start playing hockey as well as the aggressive style. He ended up with 52 points and 289 minutes in penalties. When the season ended with New Westminster, Ewen was loaned to the Maine Mariners for the playoffs. He centered a line which had Archie Henderson and Mitch Wilson as line mates. He was selected by the Edmonton Oilers in the eighth round, 168th overall, of the 1984 draft. Some of the other notable players in the organization at that time were Cliff Ronning, Craig Berube, Bill Ranford, Link Gaetz, Alan May, Brent Hughes, Pokey Reddick and Brian Noonan.
The team was coached by junior hockey coach Ernie "Punch" Mclean, most known for the teams that he assembled and inducted in the British Columbia Hockey Hall of Fame.
Ewen never played for the Oilers but was called up to the team for the 1985 Stanley Cup playoffs. At the beginning of the next season, Ewen was assigned to the minors in Nova Scotia where he had a run-in with coach Larry Kish. He was traded to the St. Louis Blues.
He played parts of four years with St. Louis and had one of his most memorable fights with Bob Probert. In his second fight in the National Hockey League, he knocked out Probert with one punch. This would be the first of several battles with Probert. He was traded to the Montreal Canadiens in 1990 in their attempt to add an enforcer to the team for a Stanley Cup run. He played four seasons for Montreal, which culminated in a Stanley Cup championship in 1993. Before the start of the 1994 season, he was traded to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim after the expansion draft and was the first trade made by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim along with Patrick Carnback. He spent the next three seasons protecting the team's star players, Paul Kariya and Teemu Selänne, along with his partner, Stu Grimson. During this time with the Mighty Ducks, Ewen served as the assistant captain for all three years. The Mighty Ducks achieved a record for the winningest expansion franchise team in NHL history. After three years with the Mighty Ducks, Ewen joined the San Jose Sharks as a free agent in 1996–97, his last season in the NHL. His career ended with double knee surgery. He attended camp with the Phoenix Coyotes, but officially retired after suffering a knee injury in camp.
Ewen was involved in coaching after his retirement. Having moved back to St. Louis, he became involved in the local Chesterfield Hockey Association and was the coaching director for three years. He also was involved in doing coaching seminars with USA hockey for levels 1-3 along with other St Louis Blues alumni Rob Ramage, Mike Zuke and Rick Zombo. During his tenure with Chesterfield hockey, Ewen was the head coach for every level from mini-mite to midget major central states. The opportunity to get involved in high school hockey was a pleasant change and Ewen moved to Lafayette High School for three years.
In 2008, he also began serving as the assistant coach for the Saint Louis University Billikens Men's Ice Hockey Club and took over the reins in 2009 as the head coach. He led the team to a 2011 MACHA Gold Championship (the first in club history) and a Central Regional Qualifier.
Ewen died suddenly on September 19, 2015 at the age of 49. The next day, numerous media outlets reported Ewen committed suicide via self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Ewen's family would later report that he had allegedly been suffering from depression for several years. On February 10, 2016, it was reported by TSN that Ewen's results from a chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) examination performed by Lili-Naz Hazrati, a researcher in Toronto with the Canadian Sports Concussion Project, came back negative and that Ewen's widow had been given the results the month before.
Awards and achievements
|1982–83||Kamloops Junior Oilers||WHL||3||0||0||0||2||2||0||0||0||0|
|1983–84||New Westminster Bruins||WHL||68||11||13||24||176||7||1||2||3||15|
|1984–85||New Westminster Bruins||WHL||56||11||20||31||304||10||1||8||9||60|
|1985–86||New Westminster Bruins||WHL||60||28||24||52||289||—||—||—||—||—|
|1986–87||St. Louis Blues||NHL||23||2||0||2||84||4||0||0||0||23|
|1987–88||St. Louis Blues||NHL||64||4||2||6||227||6||0||0||0||21|
|1988–89||St. Louis Blues||NHL||34||4||5||9||171||2||0||0||0||21|
|1989–90||St. Louis Blues||NHL||3||0||0||0||11||—||—||—||—||—|
|1993–94||Mighty Ducks of Anaheim||NHL||79||9||9||18||272||—||—||—||—||—|
|1994–95||Mighty Ducks of Anaheim||NHL||24||0||0||0||90||—||—||—||—||—|
|1995–96||Mighty Ducks of Anaheim||NHL||53||4||3||7||285||—||—||—||—||—|
|1996–97||San Jose Sharks||NHL||51||0||2||2||162||—||—||—||—||—|
- "Former NHL enforcer Todd Ewen dies at 49". USA Today. September 20, 2015. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
- "Report: Ewen's death being classified as suicide". TSN. September 20, 2015. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
- "Police classify death of former NHLer Todd Ewen as suicide: Report". Yahoo Canada. September 20, 2015. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
- Westhead, Rick (February 10, 2016). "Researcher sheds light on exam of former NHL player Todd Ewen's brain". tsn.ca. Retrieved February 11, 2016.