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Living Or Dying In Pain

from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,

He could barely walk by the end. His ankles, knees and even shoulders ached so much from his hockey injuries that his friends had to help him in and out of vehicles. Then came the seizure that put him in the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre for three days.

That was enough for Walt Poddubny. He figured he had to do something. He was going to tell his story so that the NHL and its players would do more for those who helped the game grow and had stumbled on hard times.

Two months later, the former Toronto Maple Leafs forward and 40-goal scorer went to sleep in a bedroom in his sister’s home. He had split with his wife, couldn’t work because of the pain he endured and needed extensive surgeries. He closed the bedroom door and collapsed. He was likely dead before he hit the covers.

When 49-year-old Poddubny succumbed to a heart attack last year, his posthockey plight spoke of a man who had played hard and made good money for his time, but nowhere near what today’s NHL players receive. In that regard, he was hardly alone.


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: walt+poddubny


Boxcar's avatar

A real heartbreaking story but you have to keep perspective. We all make choices in life, and with choices come consequenses. You make go work in the oilfield for instance where money is plentiful but when your body can’t take it anymore you move on and often your pension is whatever you managed to put away.
I guess a much better long term disabilty plan is what’s needed.

Posted by Boxcar on 10/20/10 at 11:42 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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