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Rarely told reason cited for Bill Masterton's death

Rarely told reason cited for Bill Masterton's death
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09 Martie, 2016

Bill Masterton, the only player to die Pekka Rinne Womens Jersey from injuries suffered during an NHL game, might not have died in vain. The underlying cause of his death almost 50 years ago elevates awareness about the risks of undiagnosed concussions -- and the NHL's responsibility to address them.

On that fatal night at Met Center on Jan. 13, 1968, the Minnesota North Stars center, playing against the Oakland Seals, carried the puck across the blue line and cut to the right while Seals defensemen Larry Cahan and Ron Harris closed in. One of their sticks tangled with Masterton's skates as he slid a pass to his wing, and he lost his balance, pitching forward. He didn't see the other defender, who caught him with a clean check that knocked him backward. Masterton, who was not wearing a helmet, smacked the back of his head on the ice. "It sounded like a baseball bat hitting a ball," teammate André Boudrias recalled.

Ken Lindgren, a fan watching the play about 10 rows up in the stands just above the blue line, can still visualize the impact.

"We watched his head bounce," Lindgren said. "He didn't move after that. It got deathly quiet."

Boudrias helped the team's trainer onto Chris Terry Womens Jersey the ice to tend to Masterton. The team doctor soon joined him. They carried Masterton off on a stretcher, and an ambulance rushed him to Fairview Southdale hospital, seven miles away.

"His eyes were gray at the time -- it was like a horror picture," Boudrias says. "I knew he was done."

A team of doctors at the hospital treated Masterton with steroids and diuretics, but the swelling in his brain was so swift and severe that they decided against operating.

Realizing he was already gone, Masterton's parents, who had flown in from Winnipeg after they heard of the incident, and his wife, Carol, made the decision to remove Masterton from life support. At 1:55 a.m. on Jan. 15, 1968 -- almost 30 hours after he struck his head on the ice -- Bill Masterton died at the age of 29.

Seven hours later, when the Hennepin Dominic Moore Womens Jersey County medical examiner performed an autopsy, they discovered the true cause of Masterton's death.

Like many Canadian boys growing up in the '50s, Masterton listened to Saturday night radio broadcasts of "Hockey Night in Canada" and dreamed of Foster Hewitt making the call: "Masterton shoots, he scores!"
That dream carried him through junior hockey in his hometown of Winnipeg and three years at the University of Denver, where he was an All-American and led the Pioneers to the 1961 NCAA championship, but the dream stalled after two years of minor league hockey in the Montreal Canadiens' organization. He finished with a master's degree in business at Denver and landed a job at the Minneapolis-based technology company Honeywell, where he worked in the financial department for the Apollo project, married his high school sweetheart and started a family, adopting a son and a daughter.

The NHL's expansion from six to 12 http://www.officialsenatorsstore.com/authentic-david-legwand-jersey.html teams in 1967-68 rekindled his mothballed dream. He had kept fit by playing on a barnstorming amateur team, the St. Paul Steers, and with the U.S. national team. When Minnesota executives, who had acquired his rights, invited him to a tryout, Masterton relished the second chance. He made the North Stars and scored the first goal in franchise history.

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