Ex-NHL Enforcer, 1996-97 Penalty Minute Leader Gino Odjick, Dead At 52

On Monday, news broke that former NHL enforcer Gino Odjick had died after suffering a heart attack that came at the end of a long illness.

According to The New York Post, Odjick's sister broke the news in a Facebook post.

“Our hearts are broken,” his sister Dina wrote. “My brother Gino Odjick has left us for the spirit world."

He reportedly suffered a heart attack while getting leg bandages. He had been battling amyloidosis which affected his organs, including his heart, per Sportsnet.

Odjick — a native of Maniwaki, Quebec — was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in the 5th round, 86th overall in the 1990 NHL Draft. He spent seven-and-a-half seasons with the Canucks before moving on to the New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, and Montreal Canadiens.

He skated in 605 NHL games tallying the 64 goals and 73 assists for 137 points.

However, Odjick was a fan favorite because of his toughness. He racked up 2,567 penalty minutes, good for 17th all-time. This included a league leading 371 PIMs during th 1996-97 season.

The man knew how to throw a punch. Here he is squaring off with fellow tough guy Tie Domi while a member of the Habs in 2000.

Odjick's Teams Offered Condolences

After news of Odjick's death hit the news, his former teams and teammates paid their respects to a man who was one tough customer both during and after his playing days.

Chairman and governor of the Vancouver Canucks, Francesco Aquilini, put out a statement after Odjick's passing.

"Gino was a fan favourite from the moment he joined the organization, putting his heart and soul into every shift on and off the ice," he 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."

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