Monday, March 23, 2009

Walt Poddubny dead at 49

Many Leaf fans heard about the sudden death of Walt Poddubny at the age of 49.

Poddubny like many retired players disappeared from the limelight after his hockey career ended. What many fans don't realize is that many players struggle with their post-hockey lives and poor Walt was one of them. Although his hockey salary peaked at $350,000 (US), he died penniless living in his sister's basement in Thunder Bay. The Globe has an excellent piece on his life after hockey.

Even better is a book by ex-Leaf GM Mike Smith called Life After Hockey. Many people don't know that Smith has a Ph.D. and quite a brilliant man. He has written about 10 books about hockey but this one is his best.