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Old 12-13-2017, 02:39 PM   #1
smithtofuhr86
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Default Article link "Searching for Matt Johnson"

http://longform.tsn.ca/searching-for-matt-johnson

After what we have saw over the last few years with former NHL enforcers scary to read this and beyond that the potential outcome that awaits. Not a household name but certainly remember him from his time in LA in the 90's and especially in the early 2000's with the Wild. Remember him being on that 2003 team that stunned the Vancouver Canucks in 7 games, eventually losing to a red hot JS Giguere and the upstart Anaheim Ducks.
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Old 12-13-2017, 03:15 PM   #2
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Sitting at my desk nearly in tears after reading this. Wow. Scary what some of these guys put their bodies through--emotionally, mentally and physically. I hope this turns out with a happy ending, but in all honesty, I don't have a good feeling about this.
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Old 12-13-2017, 03:30 PM   #3
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That was a very tough read - You really feel for his parents as they have essentially lost contact with their son.
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Old 12-13-2017, 05:35 PM   #4
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This is a terrible story and was really hard to read.

It was mentioned that there is an opioid crisis for NHL players and that the drug testing isn't really done by professionals so it easy to slip through the cracks. I played an international sport and the tester had to watch us pee, like door open in the stall and watching. How was this so easy for these guys to just by pass this.

I think there needs to be a more strict policy but if doctors are prescribing a lot of pills over the course of a year I can see why there are issues. NHL doctors aren't protecting the players they seem to be protecting the league. That isn't good and needs to change. This is staggering:

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Derek Boogaard, a former enforcer with the Wild and New York Rangers, died in 2011 from a combination of painkillers and alcohol after failing 14 of 19 drug tests during the final six months of his life. A dozen doctors prescribed Derek with 1,021 pills during the 2008-09 season alone, according to court documents.
I don't think I have taken 1,021 prescribed pills in my whole life (36 years). How can anyone's brain function with that kind of stuff pumping through them?

How many former NHL players has this happened too? Are there a lot more that we just don't know about? Seems like a trend that is becoming all too familiar.
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Old 12-13-2017, 05:43 PM   #5
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There is no way you can read this article and support staged fighting in hockey and/or the role of the enforcer.
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Last edited by undercoverbrother; 12-13-2017 at 05:48 PM. Reason: I agree with Buff
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Old 12-13-2017, 05:47 PM   #6
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Similar story for Stephen Peat:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/britis...-cte-1.4432726

I wouldn't stop at staged fighting. Hockey doesn't need fighting at all. No this isn't a knee jerk reaction because I've read two articles about two players at the extreme wrong end of life. It is something that I've slowly been changing my mind about for a long time.
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Old 12-13-2017, 05:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buff View Post
Similar story for Stephen Peat:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/britis...-cte-1.4432726

I wouldn't stop at staged fighting. Hockey doesn't need fighting at all. No this isn't a knee jerk reaction because I've read two articles about two players at the extreme wrong end of life. It is something that I've slowly been changing my mind about for a long time.
Yeah agreed.

Look at that Kassian Dubinsky fight, what is the point.
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Old 12-13-2017, 05:58 PM   #8
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This one hit home for me. Matt was drafted by the Kings a year after my cousin. I always felt like he took my cousin's role with the team, and it lead to my cousin subsequently being traded away.

Basically, my cousin wouldn't or couldn't embrace the enforcer role required for him to earn a consistent NHL role. Strange how things work out in the end.

I think there are far more stories like this out there than any of us really believe. We're only hearing about the ones who made it. What about the guys in junior or minor pro who faded into obscurity?
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Old 12-13-2017, 07:28 PM   #9
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F me.

I live in Santa Monica. Homeless guys are everywhere. I've probably seen him.
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Old 12-13-2017, 08:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by undercoverbrother View Post
There is no way you can read this article and support staged fighting in hockey and/or the role of the enforcer.

I read this story in a totally different way than you did apparently. They mentioned addiction and mental health issues from early on (major junior) and really focused on mental health decline in the lockout year. CTE was brought up in 1 paragraph in passing (and obviously not proven/directly connected).
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Old 12-13-2017, 09:18 PM   #11
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So after reading the Matt Johnson article, I checked out his draft year. Did you know that Miikka Kiprusoff had an older brother that played in the NHL? I didn’t (or maybe I forgot?) Marko Kiprusoff was drafted in the 3rd round by the Habs and had a short NHL career before going to play in Europe.
http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/p...y.php?pid=2732
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Old 12-13-2017, 09:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by undercoverbrother View Post
There is no way you can read this article and support staged fighting in hockey and/or the role of the enforcer.
Yeah..I love hockey fights as much as the next guy, but this really puts things into perspective. There are physical, lifetime effects from those 30 seconds of adrenaline we all enjoy. But if that's the price to pay, that's not right.
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Old 12-13-2017, 09:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cracher View Post
I read this story in a totally different way than you did apparently. They mentioned addiction and mental health issues from early on (major junior) and really focused on mental health decline in the lockout year. CTE was brought up in 1 paragraph in passing (and obviously not proven/directly connected).
Fair point -- untreated mental problems are a problem with or without CTE. But we can't forget that other fighters have commented on how much anxiety that role can cause on a day to day basis. Knowing you're going to get punched in the face every night... Well, if you're already an anxious person, that'll send you over the edge into a (pill) bottle or 10.
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Old 12-13-2017, 10:54 PM   #14
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I have to agree with the anti-fighting sentiment expressed by some here.
Ultimately it is going to disappear as the game evolves, sooner the better. Once it is gone it will never come back and except for a few dinosaurs no one will miss it.
It's like capital punishment. Society moves beyond it eventually as we achieve incremental progress towards a better society.

Last edited by blender; 12-13-2017 at 11:24 PM. Reason: Read the article
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Old 12-13-2017, 11:37 PM   #15
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When a 200+ pound man punches another man in the face with his fist, it absolutely causes both physical and emotional scarring in the brain. Hockey fights may not cause mental illness, but they surely contibuted to this young man's degradation.

I wish the NHL would come to it's senses and prohibit fighting. Allowing it to continue is barbaric and cruel, particularly to players who think it is their job to fight. And for what, our entertainment? It's senseless.

I don't want to read an article like this about Michael Ferland, or Garnet Hathaway, or Mark Giordano ten years from now.
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Old 12-13-2017, 11:52 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buff View Post
Similar story for Stephen Peat:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/britis...-cte-1.4432726

I wouldn't stop at staged fighting. Hockey doesn't need fighting at all. No this isn't a knee jerk reaction because I've read two articles about two players at the extreme wrong end of life. It is something that I've slowly been changing my mind about for a long time.
I don't stand and I don't cheer when a hockey fight breaks out.
This is one if the reasons why.

Funny how you don't hear stories like about former skilled players or retired women hockey players.
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Old 12-14-2017, 12:11 AM   #17
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This might sound cruel or strange but for all you people who view these types of terrible injuries as the calling for the end to fighting as a part of the game, would you say the same thing about boxing or UFC? Arenít these injuries occurring in those sports? What about football? Rugby?

Iím honestly asking. Because I think that an unnecessary evil of contact sports are injuries. I think injuries can be very serious and even risk death. Look at NASCAR or bobsledding. We try to make sports and competition as safe as possible but itís not possible to prevent every single circumstance.

So then really it comes down to is fighting a part of the game? And I think it is, and has been for decades, and I think it does have a place. Also, hitting has a place. But the game is changing (for the worse in my opinion) to try and reduce or eliminate the physical nature of the sport.

I dunno maybe Iím wrong and a Neanderthal, but people sign up for this. I believe that they do understand the risks donít they? Iím not sure that really makes anyone feel better but Iím also not sure why one tragedy must mean the game must change forever.

And I mean this post with as much possible respect to this family and this poor dude. What he went through (is going through?) is truly, really awful. Was it worth it for a few fans to watch some fights? Maybe not but did we all know this would happen? No. How many fights and such have happened over the years where this has not happened? What are the risks and percentages of injury really? I dunno.
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Old 12-14-2017, 12:34 AM   #18
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Yes, injuries happen in all sports, but boxing, UFC, and hockey are different because of the intent to injure. What other purpose is there to fighing besides causing damage to the other athlete's face and brain? I have heard simpletons make the argument that the purpose of a fight is to swing the momentum in a game, but is that even possible without landing at least one damaging blow to the head?
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Old 12-14-2017, 12:50 AM   #19
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I also know one thing for sure. We will read many sad stories like this about retired UFC fighters down the road. The violence to the heads of those athletes is downright sickening. Almost as sickening as the glee the spectators display while watching it happen.

In a modern society where we now understand the fragility of the brain and acknowledge its inability to repair itself, I am just blown away that performance fighting is still permitted.
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Old 12-14-2017, 12:55 AM   #20
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That was the worst formatted article I've ever seen on Desktop. I forced my way through all the scrolling (up and down) because of the comments here, but can't believe how badly that page is designed for traditional computers.

As for the article, well, that way pretty damn good. I mean we all know that getting smoked in the head means problems for the brain. But I liked the personal and emotional side that this reporter brought to the table. It's not just the athlete who suffers these blows, his family and friends do as well if there is enough damage.
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