Todd Ewen (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Former NHL enforcer Todd Ewen's death has been confirmed by police in St. Louis County as a suicide, something that has shocked his former teammates and friends.
THN has received official confirmation from the St. Louis County Police Department that former NHLer Todd Ewen's death is being investigated as a suicide.
"(Ewen's death) is being investigated and classified as a suicide and there are no signs of foul play," Sergeant Brian Schellman, public information co-ordinator for the St. Louis County Police Department wrote in an email to thn.com. "A 100 percent call won't be made until the medical examiner returns their report.
Police were called to Ewen's home in the St. Louis suburb of Wildwood at about 2 p.m., Saturday where they discovered Ewen's body.
Former teammates and board members with the St. Louis Blues alumni association expressed shock at Ewen's death and the circumstances surrounding it. Ewen, who played for four NHL teams and retired in 1997, was an active member of the Blues alumni and was working in real estate with his wife, Kelli. He had been active in minor hockey and helped start a Division II hockey program at St. Louis University.
"He always seemed upbeat and the guys all loved him," said former Blue Reed Low, a fellow member of the Blues alumni board member. "I would have never thought he was a depressed person. The last time I saw him was at out fantasy camp and he was as upbeat and happy as I've ever seen him. He always used to punch me in the arm and I'd run because you don't want to mess with Todd Ewen."
"He was always such a gregarious guy and so open," said Blake Dunlop, who is also a board member with the Blues alumni association. "He was so creative and not at all like the guy you saw on the ice. He was a really sensitive guy. When I saw him at the fantasy camp, he looked really happy and looked as though he was enjoying himself."
"This is the hardest 24 hours of my life," said Terry Yake, a director with the Blues alumni. "He was my roommate in Anaheim and a really good friend. We'd talk at least once a week and text each other a couple of times a week. I'm not dealing with this very well right now."
Low said Ewen was a vital part of the Blues alumni and always had great ideas about how to improve the organization. The Blues have a very active and engaged alumni association, with many members living in the area. Alumni from the Dallas Stars, Los Angeles Kings and Nashville Predators are currently using the Blues template to improve their own organizations.
"He had a really great hockey mind," Low said. "He had a lot of great ideas and he did a good job of helping to put this group on the map. He was instrumental and he was always asking, 'How can we make this thing better?' "
Ewen, who earned the nickname 'The Animal,' played 518 games over 11 seasons for four teams and won a Stanley Cup with the Montreal Canadiens in 1993. According to the website www.hockeyfights.com, Ewen had 150 fights in the regular season and playoffs during his career and his 27 fights in 1995-96 with the Anaheim Ducks tied him for third in the league with Rob Ray, three behind Dennis Vial and one behind Matthew Barnaby. He finished his career with 1,911 penalty minutes.