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Then and Now: Daniel Lacroix

After spending time with the New York Rangers and the Boston Bruins in his first three years in the NHL, Daniel Lacroix became a Philadelphia Flyer in the summer of 1996. The pugilist experienced all of 188 regular season games in the NHL, 130 of which came with the Orange and Black in 1996-1997 and 1997-1998. Lacroix totaled all of five points in his time with the Rangers and Bruins before he recorded eight in 74 games for Philly in 1996-1997. The enforcer registered seven goals and one helper, as he also posted a rare two-point game on October 27th, …

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Then and Now: Nolan Baumgartner

After the New York Islanders picked Brett Lindros ninth overall in the 1994 NHL Draft, the Washington Capitals selected defenseman Nolan Baumgartner. The four players picked after the Canadian d-man were former San Jose Shark and New Jersey Devil Jeff Friesen, Wade Belak, Mattias Ohlund, and Ethan Moreau. All four of those players turned out to play more seasons in the NHL than Baumgartner, who totaled 10 years at hockey’s highest level. Baumgartner suited up for the Caps, Chicago Blackhawks, Vancouver Canucks, and the Pittsburgh Penguins before he became a member of the Philadelphia Flyers in 2006. The blue liner signed …

Revisiting the painkiller problem

After the tragic losses of NHL enforcers due to suicide or overdoses this off-season, a handful of former players spoke out about the elephant in the room. “Today the biggest problem, which isn’t talked about…is pills,” said Ian Laperriere. It’s painkillers.” In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Laperriere said that painkillers were appropriate when necessary but that some players were taking them just for the buzz. He suggested that he saw four or five guys on each of his former teams taking pills, whether or not they were needed. “There is also a huge, huge problem when guys take them …

A call to action

The death of former NHL enforcer, Bob Probert, came as a big shock to the NHL community last year. The fighter had a checkered past, riddled with drug and alcohol issues and legal troubles but he was still young (45) when he died on his boat in Ontario. At the time, his death was an isolated incident, something people hoped not to see again. Sadly, it began a trend among hockey pugilists. Less than two months later, the highly-respected Jason Smith, former captain of the Philadelphia Flyers and NHL tough guy, was arrested for domestic abuse last September. Nobody saw that …