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Searching for Matt Johnson

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Thanks for sharing.

 

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“Wayne would ask him what his plans were for the night and Matt would say he was just going to stay in,” Lee said. “Wayne would give him $300 or $400 and tell him to go out and have a good time.”

 

Ira Stahlberger, a spokesman for Gretzky, said the NHL superstar declined to discuss Johnson.

 

“I spoke to Wayne about it…and he would prefer to leave it be,” Stahlberger said.

 

 

So basically Gretzky paid this kid to leave his house when all the kid wanted to do was stay in and relax...

 

Quote

“Matty would go to the bathroom [and swap dirty urine for clean urine] and the agent and me would sit on the couch together and watch TV and wait for him,” said the former player, who refused to be identified because he still works in the NHL.

 

This is also a pretty serious indictment of the NHL's drug-testing policy. What do people expect when you send some dweeb (no offense) into a hotel room of a guy that is 6'5 240lbs and ask him to make sure the sample is taken properly? Also, the author of the article did a pretty $&!#ty job of keeping the identity of the former player a secret by saying that he was a former roommate of Johnson's that currently works in the NHL... will only take so long for someone within the league to figure out who that is.

Edited by Down by the River

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Really sad story.  Seems to be a growing trend these days.  NHL really needs to find a way to support these guys (enforcer types), as there is clearly a correlation with the head injuries and mental health issues.

 

Here's another one...  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/stephen-peat-homeless-cte-1.4432726

 

I love the fights just like anyone else, but not so much when I look at these guys struggling and the growing list of past enforcers that have died before their time.  They need help and the NHL needs to step up to the plate and give them what they need.

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1 minute ago, higgyfan said:

Really sad story.  Seems to be a growing trend these days.  NHL really needs to find a way to support these guys (enforcer types), as there is clearly a correlation with the head injuries and mental health issues.

 

Here's another one...  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/stephen-peat-homeless-cte-1.4432726

 

I love the fights just like anyone else, but not so much when I look at these guys struggling and the growing list of past enforcers that have died before their time.  They need help and the NHL needs to step up to the plate and give them what they need.

Same... but I'm actually embarrassed by the fact that I enjoy it. Completely aware of how awful the circumstances are for the people who go through this. The fact that guys are 40 and can't pick their kids up, can't drive a car, etc., should be enough to dissuade me from enjoying fighting in hockey. However, I can't help but check Youtube when I hear about a good fight. I think there has to be some kind of genetic/evolutionary trait that gets us excited to see a fight.

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19 minutes ago, Down by the River said:

Thanks for sharing.

 

 

So basically Gretzky paid this kid to leave his house when all the kid wanted to do was stay in and relax...

 

This is also a pretty serious indictment of the NHL's drug-testing policy. What do people expect when you send some dweeb (no offense) into a hotel room of a guy that is 6'5 240lbs and ask him to make sure the sample is taken properly? 

Nothing surprising really. We know doctors had been giving and/or prescribing bottles and bottles of different pills to players for years, why would we expect their drug testing to be of any value? They probably knew they'd have to suspend a significant % of the league if they enforced their findings so it's better off to shove your head in the sand. 

 

I love a good fight, but we've seen some bad, bad things happen to career enforcers. I think the NHL got a little bit lucky with its move toward parity in that it also inadvertently phased out the traditional "goons" from virtually all lineups, but the league still has a lot to answer for with regards to how players like Boogard and Johnson were handled, and it remains to be seen if the continuously falling fights per game average will be enough to keep players from developing problems like these.

 

It's not a happy story, but there was a little nugget that I chuckled at in the middle:

 

“Who the f$#@ is that?” Sather asked an Oilers scout.

 

“That’s the guy we wanted you to take,” the scout responded. 

 

Oilers  :lol:

 

 

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30 minutes ago, Green Building said:

 

“Who the f$#@ is that?” Sather asked an Oilers scout.

 

“That’s the guy we wanted you to take,” the scout responded. 

 

Oilers  :lol:

 

 

1994 was a piss poor draft all the way around. Edmonton took mike watt the pick before. Have to wonder how different Johnson's life would have been if the oilers took him and let him develope instead of being thrown into the fire in LA.

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47 minutes ago, higgyfan said:

Really sad story.  Seems to be a growing trend these days.  NHL really needs to find a way to support these guys (enforcer types), as there is clearly a correlation with the head injuries and mental health issues.

 

Here's another one...  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/stephen-peat-homeless-cte-1.4432726

 

I love the fights just like anyone else, but not so much when I look at these guys struggling and the growing list of past enforcers that have died before their time.  They need help and the NHL needs to step up to the plate and give them what they need.

I'd be really curious to hear Dorsett's opinion on the matter. He seems to me like he has his head on straighter than most non-enforcers, never mind fighting types like himself. I suspect he'd have some great stuff to say.

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The same Matt Johnson who suckered Jeff Beukeboom ending his career?

 

"Afterward, Beukeboom was left with recurrent headaches, memory loss, nausea, and mental fogginess that lasted for months. He was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome, and ordered to never play hockey again. Beukeboom officially retired in July 1999 with a total of 1,890 NHL penalty minutes in 804 games played, and is currently second all-time on the Rangers' penalty minutes list.[8][9] Even after retiring, he continued to suffer post-concussion symptoms for almost two years before recovering."

 

Maybe Brian McGrattan's sob story will be out in a few years.

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55 minutes ago, coryberg said:

1994 was a piss poor draft all the way around. Edmonton took mike watt the pick before. Have to wonder how different Johnson's life would have been if the oilers took him and let him develope instead of being thrown into the fire in LA.

Its kind of crazy how many guys from that draft played with the Canucks in their career:

 

Ohlund, Jovo, Scatchard, Richard Park, Ryan Johnson, Brad Lukowich, Bill Muckalt, Jason Strudwick, Nolan Baumgartner, Vadim Sharifjanov, Johan Hedberg, Dan Cloutier.

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1 hour ago, coryberg said:

1994 was a piss poor draft all the way around. Edmonton took mike watt the pick before. Have to wonder how different Johnson's life would have been if the oilers took him and let him develope instead of being thrown into the fire in LA.

You're right about that, I just loved the bluntness of the response to Sather's shocked question. 

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37 minutes ago, diesel_3 said:

The same Matt Johnson who suckered Jeff Beukeboom ending his career?

 

"Afterward, Beukeboom was left with recurrent headaches, memory loss, nausea, and mental fogginess that lasted for months. He was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome, and ordered to never play hockey again. Beukeboom officially retired in July 1999 with a total of 1,890 NHL penalty minutes in 804 games played, and is currently second all-time on the Rangers' penalty minutes list.[8][9] Even after retiring, he continued to suffer post-concussion symptoms for almost two years before recovering."

 

Maybe Brian McGrattan's sob story will be out in a few years.

That's a fair point, but we'll never know how much of what he did was because he was down on pills versus simply acting like a meathead. 

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2 minutes ago, Green Building said:

That's a fair point, but we'll never know how much of what he did was because he was down on pills versus simply acting like a meathead. 

Totally, I just don't have much a bleeding heart for guys who made a career out of being a complete meathead.

Of course there could have been other factors off ice that contributed so i'm only commenting on what I remember from him.

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One of the most infuriating things and abusive things to an introvert is to push them to go out and do something they don't want until you guilt them into submission.  

 

Also, this is just another story about how dirty professional sports has always been and will always be. Some people act like it's a recent thing, cheating drug testing, steroids, narcotic problems, etc. But it's literally been with sports since day one. 

Edited by zzbottom
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12 minutes ago, diesel_3 said:

Totally, I just don't have much a bleeding heart for guys who made a career out of being a complete meathead.

Of course there could have been other factors off ice that contributed so i'm only commenting on what I remember from him.

To be honest, I don't even think I remember a single shift the guy played. I had to Youtube that Beukeboom hit after reading the article, and damn if it didn't look like a carbon copy of Bert's on Moore. 

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5 minutes ago, Green Building said:

To be honest, I don't even think I remember a single shift the guy played. I had to Youtube that Beukeboom hit after reading the article, and damn if it didn't look like a carbon copy of Bert's on Moore. 

Yup.

Johnson was the typical late 90's/00's goon that fit the Dale Purinton mold of big, useless, and never far from making the headlines for on ice antics.

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13 minutes ago, Green Building said:

To be honest, I don't even think I remember a single shift the guy played. I had to Youtube that Beukeboom hit after reading the article, and damn if it didn't look like a carbon copy of Bert's on Moore. 

Honestly, same. I had no idea who he was. And I, too, had to youtube the hit. Pretty vicious. But I dunno if it is a full CC of Bertuzzi losing his mind on the ice. Especially considering Bertuzzi was a star player who the team relied on, and Moore basically slid across the ice defenseless. 

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3 minutes ago, diesel_3 said:

Yup.

Johnson was the typical late 90's/00's goon that fit the Dale Purinton mold of big, useless, and never far from making the headlines for on ice antics.

The way the article was written makes it seem like he felt forced to do these things on the ice. It wouldn't excuse his actions, but if he had severe mental issues prior to playing an NHL game then it wouldn't be any amount of a stretch to believe those issues were exacerbated by demands or beliefs that he be the goon he thought he had to be to be effective.  

 

That right there would be a hell of a mess to try and figure out.

 

 

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The only rough memory I have of watching him is during the 2003 Canucks-Wild series. I think he fought a couple of times. But it's terrible what happened to him, I hope he's alive and safe.

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2 hours ago, higgyfan said:

Really sad story.  Seems to be a growing trend these days.  NHL really needs to find a way to support these guys (enforcer types), as there is clearly a correlation with the head injuries and mental health issues.

 

Here's another one...  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/stephen-peat-homeless-cte-1.4432726

 

I love the fights just like anyone else, but not so much when I look at these guys struggling and the growing list of past enforcers that have died before their time.  They need help and the NHL needs to step up to the plate and give them what they need.

I think it has to do more with substance abuse that leads to mental health issues tbh.

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2 minutes ago, zzbottom said:

Honestly, same. I had no idea who he was. And I, too, had to youtube the hit. Pretty vicious. But I dunno if it is a full CC of Bertuzzi losing his mind on the ice. Especially considering Bertuzzi was a star player who the team relied on, and Moore basically slid across the ice defenseless. 

Ok, there are subtle variances in circumstance and of individuals involved, nevertheless, the punch instantly reminded me of Bert's.

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