Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Catching up with Dan Blackburn

hey i stumbled across an older article of yours, about dan blackburn. after he retired there seems to be no information about him anymore, do ya know what he went on to do after he retired, or if he still plays hockey at any level anymore? it must be crushing to have ur career snuffed out like that. im just curious.
thanks, larry.

Here's a look at that article, written for the National Post during the lockout, and the transcript from the interview.

Larry emailed me again this afternoon with a link to this recent article by the Calgary Herald's Scott Cruickshank, something that fills in the blanks as to what the former phenom is now up to: working in a business role for the Goaltender Development Institute.

I was 24 when I wrote that story for the Post, just an intern trying to find newsworthy hockey stories while the NHL was on hiatus. I was making phone calls for three or four days before finally getting ahold of Dan Blackburn.

At the time, he was still just 21 years old, a little less than three years younger than myself, and there we were, two relative pups discussing the end of his career — even as he was attempting a comeback with a terrible Victoria Salmon Kings team in a league well below where he'd starred two years earlier.

His hockeydb entry is a sad statline, really, for a guy who looked as though he was headed right to the top as a star with the Kootenay Ice.

I'd asked Blackburn what his plans were outside of hockey, if his comeback attempt fell short, and I don't know that he had any. It's good, then, to see he's made peace and moved on, and found success in a different arena.

His is one of those stories I'll never forget.


At 6:15 p.m., December 04, 2007, Blogger Dennis Prouse said...

I know you can never make a definitive connection between the two, but I have never been able to shake the feeling that the Rangers rushing of this kid may have contributed to his injury issues. I don't think any goalie is ready for the NHL at age 18, and his experience seems to confirm it.

At 10:15 a.m., December 05, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never really understood the nature of his injury. In all reports, how the "weightlifting" accident happened has always been vaguely written. I'm thinking...what was this guy trying to bench press, a Buick? What exactly was he doing that caused permanent shoulder damage? And why weren't the NY Ranger trainers liable for not monitoring his workouts...isn't that what they're paid to do?


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