Kevin Colley not an ex-NHLer many know very well, but he's a tragic story nonetheless.
Back in 2005-06, a month shy of his 27th birthday, Colley had his first call-up to the bigs with the New York Islanders after close to 400 games in the minors. A scrappy little guy, he managed only 4:44 ice time per game played, but in his 16th NHL game in January, 2006, he suffered a broken neck after missing a check on Jamie Heward. While he was not paralyzed, he was forced to retire due to the injury.
At the time, I wrote "I know of a couple of guys from back home taking 'the long way' right now, and it's hard to imagine how it would feel to come so far only to lose it all. That said, I've got a feeling we'll be seeing more of Colley in and around hockey circles for years to come."
He made good on that on Wednesday, signing on as an assistant coach with the Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL.