Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/20/10 at 11:27 PM ET
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.
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