By Michael Walters
In the early Mighty Ducks days, the team was not known for its finesse or ability to out score opponents. The Mighty Ducks relied on old time hockey players like Todd Ewen to protect the skill players to give the team a chance to compete each night. Sadly Ewen passed away suddenly today.
Todd Ewen started his NHL career with the St. Louis Blues in 1986. He played there until traded in the 1989-90 season to the Montreal Canadiens. Ewen played there through the 1992-93 season when the Montreal Canadiens won the Stanley Cup. Todd Ewen then became one of the original Mighty Ducks via a trade by Montreal and was named one of the first Alternate Captains in the franchise’s history.
Ewen played three seasons with the Mighty Ducks before finishing his career in San Jose for the 1996-97 season. Between the WHL and NHL Ewen was involved in 277 fights and 1911 penalty minutes. I remember Ewen specifically protecting Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne while on the team. In one specific game he fought an opponent and ended the fight by picking the player up and slamming him sideways into the boards.
Todd Ewen wasn’t a skill player obviously, but he stood up for his teammates every chance he could. He helped protect his fellow players on the Ducks team (and other teams he played for) and opponents feared fighting him on the ice. He and Mighty Ducks teammate Stu Grimson AKA Grim Reaper were a force to be reckoned with as they would routinely battle anyone on the ice in the early days of Anaheim’s hockey franchise.
Thoughts and prayers go out to the Ewen family. He will forever be remembered as an Original Mighty Duck.
UPDATE: Todd Ewen appears to have committed suicide.
UPDATE (9/28): According to Amanda Singroy of CV News, the Ewen family is donating Todd’s brain to Sports Concussion Research. The study is examining the effects that concussions have on players lives.
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