BY Jack Davis, The Western JournalJanuary 16, 2023
2 years ago
 | January 16, 2023
2 years ago

Tributes Pour in After Hockey Star Dies from Heart Attack

Wayne “Gino” Odjick, 52, who battled his way through a National Hockey League career and fought a debilitating disease for the final years of his life, has died.

Odjick, who played 12 seasons in the NHL for the Vancouver Canucks, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, and Montreal Canadiens, according to the Montreal Gazette.

Dubbed a “beloved enforcer” by the Montreal Gazette, Odjick passed away Sunday of a heart attack.

“I was there for the whole thing. He had a heart attack, couldn’t recover from it. We knew this day was going to come, we didn’t know when. We were hoping much later,” said his friend Peter Leech, who had gone with Odjick to the clinic where he died.

“Unfortunately that big heart gave out,” he said. “He lived life, we always joked.”

Canucks Vice President Stan Smyl recalled Odjick fondly.

“He was a friend to me and to you and to all his fans there in B.C. and throughout North America. He was a very special individual on the ice with what he had to do, but off the ice he was one of the most kindest human beings that I’ve met and played with,” Smyl said.

“He was one of the funniest guys off the ice. He was always joking, always having a laugh in the dressing room. And that’s important to have,” Smyl continued. “If there was some pressure situations, Gino knew when to be able to make everyone laugh and ‘let’s be calm about this. We’ll get it done.'”

“The role that he was as a player is one of the hardest roles to play in hockey. And he handled it very well. It’s a role that you, as a player, know what when you have to be, the tough guy and support your teammates. And he was always there for that,” Smyl said.

“And he also knew if, when things weren’t going right on the ice or the team wasn’t playing quite up to their caliber that he can go out and stir it up and get the players excited, to get them involved in game and I guess the best way of saying it, he could bring the team into a fight just by being Gino,” he said.

His sister, Dina, wrote it simply on Facebook, saying, “Our hearts are broken. My brother Gino Odjick has left us for the spirit world.”

Odjick fought as a player and as a man. He announced in 2014 that he had been diagnosed with AL amyloidosis, a terminal and rare disease in which the cells that produce antibodies no longer work properly, according to the Montreal Gazette.

At the time, he wrote an open letter to his fans that said, “I feel very fortunate for the support I’ve received over the years. During my career I played in some great NHL cities including Vancouver, Long Island, Philadelphia and Montreal. In my heart, I will always be a Canuck and I have always had a special relationship here with the fans.”

“Gino was a fan favorite from the moment he joined the organization, putting his heart and soul into every shift on and off the ice,” Francesco Aquilini, the Canucks’ chairman and governor said.

“He inspired many and embodied what it means to be a Canuck. Personally, he was a close friend and confidant, someone I could lean on for advice and support. He will be deeply missed,” he said.

Odjick's mark of 2,127 penalty minutes has not been surpassed in Vancouver’s history.

Odjick was born in the Algonquin Nation community of Kitigan Zibi in Quebec, according to

Betty Cahoose, health director of the Ulkatcho Indian Band in Anahim Lake, British Columbia, said for that reason he stood out, according to the Montreal Gazette.

“I always remembered him as being the tough one on the team. It was very exciting and we were very proud because he was First Nations,” she said.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Jack Davis, The Western Journal



Third Senate Democrat Urges Biden to end 2024 Campaign

In a surprising twist in the political landscape, Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico has publicly requested President Joe Biden to withdraw his candidacy in…
9 hours ago
 • By Benjamin Clark

New York AG Announces Indictment in Major Ghost Gun Case

In a sweeping action against illegal firearms, New York's attorney general has unveiled a major indictment involving ghost guns. New York authorities under the auspices…
9 hours ago
 • By Benjamin Clark

Former Trump Adviser Peter Navarro Receives Warm Welcome at RNC After Prison Release

Just hours after his release from a federal prison, former Trump adviser Peter Navarro received a hero's welcome at the Republican National Convention held in…
9 hours ago
 • By Benjamin Clark

Thomas Matthew Crooks Concealed Rifle for Attack at Trump's Rally, Killed by Sharpshooter

Fox News reported that the gunman at a Trump rally hid an AR-15 rifle at the venue ahead of an assassination attempt on July 13,…
1 day ago
 • By Benjamin Clark

J.D. Vance Emotionally Overwhelmed by Wife's Speech at GOP Convention

Ohio Senator J.D. Vance was brought to tears backstage as his wife, Usha Vance, introduced him following her debut speech. According to Daily Mail, Usha…
1 day ago
 • By Benjamin Clark


We publish the objective news, period. If you want the facts, then sign up below and join our movement for objective news:



    Get news from American Digest in your inbox.

      By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: American Digest, 3000 S. Hulen Street, Ste 124 #1064, Fort Worth, TX, 76109, US, You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact.
      Christian News Alerts is a conservative Christian publication. Share our articles to help spread the word.