It's a very sad day for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
According to an official announcement from the Maple Leafs organization on Saturday, long time former member of the Toronto Maple Leafs Greg Terrion has passed away. It is not clear at this time what the cause of death was for Terrion but when you consider he was only 58 years old I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that he leaves this world far too young.
Terrion, a former Los Angeles Kings 2nd round pick (33rd overall) in the 1980 National Hockey League Entry Draft, will not be a household name for most fans in Toronto and much less so for fans around the National Hockey League as a whole. Terrion's prime was spent with the Maple Leafs in the 80s and many of those were teams that achieved very little success on the ice. Add to that the fact that Terrion was the kind of player that did all of the dirty jobs, the kind of jobs that coaches notice but that fans often tend to overlook, and it's easy to see why he was never a big name in the Toronto market, much less on a national scale.
Perhaps most tragic of all for Terrion, at least as far as his NHL career was concerned, is that the moment at which the Leafs began to turn things around in the 80s he found himself more and more pushed to the side. Eventually as the Leafs were achieving some measure of success Terrion found himself the odd man out and was left looking for a job. Terrion though never complained in spite of the fact that soldiering through the hard times had to have taken a toll on him both physically and and mentally over the years.
That's not to say that Terrion did not have a successful NHL career however, because he largely did. Although he played on a series of bad Leafs' teams he managed to appeared in 561 career NHL games, far more than many players ever get to see. Over his career, spent entirely with the Leafs outside of his first two seasons as a member of the Los Angeles Kings' organization, Terrion recorded 93 goals and 150 assists for a total of 243 points. On top of that Terrion would add 339 penalty minutes, demonstrating a lot of discipline for a guy who spent heavy minutes in the defensive end and on the penalty kill.
Following what would be the end of his NHL career, an end that coincided with more success for the Leafs, Terrion would play one season with the Newmarket Saints of the American Hockey League before walking away from professional hockey for good.
Today however is not about his career in the NHL but about a tragic loss of life. No amount of accolades during his career or flowery words from people who try to remember him will bring him back. It's for that reason that my thoughts go out to the Terrion family as well as all of Terrion's friends and loved ones at this time. Rest in peace Greg.