How Donut Mogul, NHLer Tim Horton Really Died

Stellar work by Glen McGregor of the blog afewtastefulsnaps as he recently made public, for the first time, the official report from various Ontario agencies of the mysterious death of former NHL player and donut shop mogul Tim Horton in 1974.

Tim Horton Death Report

For those of you out there who are unaware, Tim Horton was Hall of Fame NHL player with the Leafs and Rangers, Penguins and Sabres in the ’50s, ’60s and early ’70s. In 1964, he started a chain of donut shops that has since grown to nearly 3,000 stores around the world. Most of the locations are in Canada and the U.S.

Horton died in a horrific single-car accident in in 1974 yet despite his celebrity, until McGregor obtained the ancient crash report from the Archives of Ontario, the details of Horton’s death remained somewhat fuzzy.

From McGregor:

I found a loophole in Ontario’s Freedom of Information law that allowed me to get a copy of his autopsy.  Under Ontario law, the privacy exemption that keeps information like autopsies from public view expires 30 years after the subject’s death. That meant Horton’s file was no longer covered by privacy provisions as of Feb. 21, 2004.

It took more than a year before I finally got the file sent to me via the Archives of Ontario. I wrote a story  based on the autopsy in 2005 (Citizen links expire after three months, so this will have to do).

Police have long maintained alcohol was not a factor in Horton’s fatal accident, but from the official police account and toxicology report obtained by McGregor, we can now indisputedly confirmed that Horton was twice over the legal limit when he died.

But the 61-page report reveals details well beyond Horton’s blood alcohol level.

In the early morning hours of February 21, 1974, Horton was driving from Toronto to his home in Buffalo following a Sabres-Leafs game at MLG, Read more…

Sabres Players Witnesses To Buffalo Plane Crash

Last night’s crash of Continental Flight 3407 was a tragedy, with 49 people on the plane killed along with one person on the ground when the plane suddenly took a nosedive into a neighborhood in Clarence Center, NY, a suburb of Buffalo. NTSB officials are now saying that there was “significant” ice buildup on plane just before it crashed. Among those killed was a widow of a 9/11 victim who had campaigned for victim’s rights and had met with President Obama just last week.

Buffalo Plane Crash

I can’t imagine what it’s like to witness something like that, whether you actually see the plane go down to just see the fiery, horrific aftermath. Being a relatively small city, it’s not surprising that the crash has sent shockwaves throughout Buffalo, including the Sabres organization. As the BUFFALO NEWS reports, many of the team’s players live in or near Clarence Center and became witnesses to the horror last night.

Read more…

Speed Read: Kings Turn Back Clock, Beat Lakers

Suddenly it was 2002 all over again for the Lakers vs. Kings rivalry last night in Sacramento. The Arco Arena crowd was hooting and hollering and the Maloofs were acting like giant cheeseballs, high-fiving, bear-hugging and giving lap dances to anyone within reach. Sacramento temporarily forgot how lousy they are in delivering a 113-101 beatdown of Los Angeles that really wasn’t that close. Wake up the echoes of Vlade and C-Webb, indeed.

John Salmons and Kobe Bryant

What the game came down to was defense, specifically the Lakers’ total lack of it. They were unable to stop the high pick and roll, leaving the Kings with huge lanes to the basket to score or dish for threes. This is not a good sign for the Lakers going into tonight’s game against Steve Nash and the Suns, even if Shaq isn’t playing.

That’s three bad performances in their last four road games against average to awful teams (Indiana, Washington, Sacramento), which should be enough to silence any talk about 70 wins. But before Lakers fans go calling their therapist for a new prescription of Zoloft, they should remember that the team is still 17-3.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Mo Williams

Meanwhile in Cleveland, a legendary Cavaliers superstar reached a huge career milestone. Congratulations to Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who had set the franchise record for career rebounds in the team’s 114-94 rout of the Toronto Raptors. And oh yeah, some guy named LeBron James tried to horn in on the Big Z’s big night by setting the team’s career mark for steals and chipping in with 31 points.

Other sports news to read while you consider calling in gay to work today:

    Wayne Rooney and accused killer Anthony Corsi

  • Apparently, about the worst thing you can do in England is tell someone they look like Manchester United star Wayne Rooney. THE SUN reports that drunken slur in a taxi line led to one man’s death while the Rooney lookalike is currently facing manslaughter charges.
  • The DETROIT NEWS has word that big-mouth former Michigan QB and mediocre MLB player Rick Leach thinks that former Wolverines coach Lloyd Carr should “support” the guy who replaced him, Rich Rodriguez.
  • An Australian politician rues to the HERALD SUN that having soccer players overstay their visas and apply for asylum is one of the risks of hosting the Homeless World Cup.
  • The WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL notes that Ted Turner and TBS have been found guilty of a breach of contract in the sale of the Atlanta Hawks and Thrashers and ordered to pay $316 million in damages. Turner immediately protests that this “was nothing like an episode of Law & Order.”
  • Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller is cross that a ref swore at him during Monday’s game against Pittsburgh, says the BUFFALO NEWS. Reg Dunlop does not approve.
  • A good hint for coaches: don’t tell the press that it’s impossible for your team to win a game against your No. 1 rival, and Real Madrid’s Bernd Schuster said ahead of his team’s game against Barcelona. Not surprisingly, the NEW YORK TIMES reports Schuster’s been sacked. Also, don’t believe any rumors that Stephon Marbury is heading there to be the next coach.
  • 20 years later, Billy Ripken talks to CNBC’s Darren Rovell about his infamous baseball card. He still gets recognized “a couple of times a week” because of it - three guesses what people call him. Hint: it rhymes with “duck race.”
  • Stephen Curry: he’s streaky, but he’s also really good, as anyone who saw his second-half performance against West Virginia can attest to. The NEW YORK TIMES has all the details.
  • The latest name to enter the CC Sabathia Sweepstakes? The San Francisco Giants, who apparently weren’t burnt badly enough by Barry Zito to swear off big money pitchers. But Giants’ GM Brian Sabean tells the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS his team is just a “fallback” option if Sabathia doesn’t sign with the Yankees.
  • Remember when Texas Tech QB Graham Harrell said there was a “great chance” that Mike Leach wouldn’t be back coaching the Red Raiders next season. Turns out he’s changed his mind, says the AP (via the SEATTLE TIMES).

Which high-priced free-agent is some team going to most regret signing this off-season?

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Clint Malarchuk Is Immortal And Incredibly Stupid

Do you remember who Clint Malarchuk is? No? Well maybe this picture will help jog your memory.

Clint Malarchuk

(”Oh man, my contact lens came out!”)

Yes, that’s Clint. Oh, what a day that was for the young Buffalo Sabres goaltender. Any goalie can block a 100 MPH slap shot at his face, but only Mr. Malarchuk can block the shot and then take a skate to his throat that cuts his jugular and live to tell about it. What we learned about Clint on that fateful day back in 1989 is that he is very, very lucky man. What we learned about Clint this past Tuesday was that he’s also incredibly sad and stupid.

Read more…

Ashley Judd Gets Motors Running w/Daytona Visit

We’re always keeping an eye out for Montreal moochers pilfering purses.

Ashley Judd really knows how to rev up the engines at Daytona:

Ashley Judd Daytona dress

• Heads up, Alfred Aboya! Or should that be - “Face Up”?

• Buffalo fans have seen Richard Zednik’s terrible throat slash before - when it happened to Sabres goalie Clint Malarchuk.

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Zednik Neck Slash Sadly Familiar To Buffalo Fans

A very scary moment for Richard Zednik and fans & players in Buffalo on Sunday night, as the Florida Panthers forward was slashed in the neck by a wayward skate.

Richard Zednik throat slash hockey player

(Screen capture courtesy of THE HOCKEY HERALD)

During the 3rd period of Sunday’s game against the Sabres, the Panthers’ Olli Jokinen fell forward and accidentally caught his skate on the right side of Zednik’s neck. Although he was bleeding profusely, Zednik managed to make it back to the bench under his own power, where the team trainer immediately brought him back to the locker room.

TSN reports that “players, coaches and fans sat in silence after the accident, and the game was delayed for 15 minutes as the blood was cleaned off the ice.”

Sadly, this isn’t the first time Buffalo hockey fans have witnessed such a gory event. (video after the jump)

Read more…

Blogs: Ashley Judd Finally Gets Kentucky Diploma

• AOL FANHOUSE congratulates U of Kentucky fan fatale Ashley Judd for finally getting her college degree:

Ashley Judd hockey graduate photo

• THE FEED rats out who’s gone to visit Tank Johnson while he passes time in the pokey. Yes: Most Bears teammates, coaches and Jesse Jackson; No: Johnson’s fiancee and also-looking-to-make-a-break-for-it Lance Briggs.• As he plots his latest comeback for the thousandth time, SPORTS COLUMN tracks down Rickey Henderson snagging some balls…away from other kids in the stands.

• THE BATTLE OF CALIFORNIA informs us how dance contestant Willa Ford met Dallas Star star Mike Modano, and how she feels about her fiance’s current employer:

Willa Ford photo lingerie engaged

• Hoping to recover from the loss of arena football, JOE SPORTS FAN reveals NBC’s new sports savior: Tiki Barbaro.• Hot on the heels of NASCAR, THE SPORTS PICKLE bets on a winner at the Preakness with the “Horses of Tomorrow”.

• SPORTS GONE SOUTH (sponsored by Goody’s Headache Powder) adds up (sponsored by Texas Instruments) Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s (sponsored by Junior Mints) heavy price to pay (sponsored by First Federal Savings) for leaving his dad’s company (sponsored by Dad’s Root Beer).

• HOCKEY NATION breaks the ice with Ottawa’s Game 1 victory over Buffalo in the NHL Eastern Conference finals. And since a Canadian team is involved, here’s the required version francais.

• Speaking of our neighbours to the north, THE SMITTBLOG examines how much the Toronto Blue Jays ooze sweet Canadianess - just by their names alone.

• Why has Al Davis had so much trouble fielding a decent Raiders team? OUR BOOK OF SCRAP thinks the silver jumpsuited one is following a different tune.

Ted Nolan Buffalo Firing Came After Allegations He Slept With Dominik Haseks Wife

WILL HBO ASK ISLANDERS’ NOLAN ABOUT HASEK CUCKOLD? Tonight HBO updates an old piece on current New York Islanders Coach Ted Nolan.

The original piece focused on Nolan getting fired by the Buffalo Sabres after the 1997 season, despite leading “a young team of overachievers to the top of their division after only two years at the helm.

Ted Nolan New York Islanders Coach

Nolan has long maintained that he was blackballed from the NHL after his Sabres stint because of racism.But a CBC report has a differing account of why Nolan was canned: “Rumours surfaced that Nolan was drunk at practices and that he was having affairs with players’ wives. Nolan denied all of this and dismissed it as racist taunts.”

Dominik Hasek

The final straw in Buffalo was when, “Buffalo Sabres star goalie, Dominik Hasek … told a local radio show he did not respect his coach.“Translation: Nolan was sleeping with Hasek’s wife.

That also probably explains one of the (unmentioned) reasons why Don Cherry also refutes Nolan’s racism claims.

It will be interesting to see if HBO and/or Deford broaches the subject, since Nolan’s alleged ultimate betrayal of Hasek has long been one of the biggest open secrets in the NHL.