Gino Odjick, a former enforcer for the Vancouver Canucks who was also a fan favorite, passed away at 52.
His death was officially confirmed on Sunday by the team and his sister Dina.
“Our hearts are broken. My older brother, Gino Odjick, has passed on to the world of spirits. “She posted the message on Facebook.
Odjick played in the National Hockey League (NHL) from 1990 until 2002, spending ten years in the league.
He played for the New York Islanders, the Philadelphia Flyers, and other clubs in 605 regular-season games, scoring 64 goals, 73 assists, and 2,567 penalty minutes.
Gino was a fan favorite from the moment he joined the team, according to Francesco Aquilini, the team’s chairman and governor, who said in a statement that Gino “gave his heart and soul into every shift on and off the ice.” “From the minute he joined the organization, Gino was a fan favorite.”
Odjick, an Anishinabeg from the Kitigan Zibi First Nation near Maniwaki, Quebec, revealed nine years ago that he has AL (Primary) amyloidosis, a rare form of deadly heart disease. He probably only had a few weeks to live, according to the medical staff’s prediction.
At that time, he wrote an open letter to his loyal audience, thanking them for their support during his career to express his gratitude to them.
“My favorite sounds to hear from you were your “Gino, Gino” cheers. I sincerely wish I could hear them again. You have excelled, “He said in the statement.
He also spoke mainly about his Indigenous roots in addition to everything else.
“In addition, it means the world to me that I could assist young Aboriginal community members because I built a career out of playing hockey. I was a young, uncomplicated Indian boy living on the reserve. They were also successful if I had been able to do it.”
Odjick reportedly chose the number 29 for his hockey career since it was his father’s identifying number from residential school, according to Marcia McNaughton, a close friend of his for the past 15 years. Odjick’s pal McNaughton has known him for the last 15 years.
McNaughton was with Odjick in the hospital in 2014 when supporters gathered outside his Vancouver hospital to sing his name.
Despite his health issues, she insisted that his death was a shock. She had decided to go to a Canucks home game on Wednesday to meet him there.
She expressed her sadness by saying, “My heart is crushed, as is probably the whole province of British Columbia, every Canuck fan, and you name it.”
When people think of Odjick, McNaughton wants them to remember him for his warmth, kindness, and grit.
She tried to describe him, saying that he was a “warrior, through and through.” “He still carries on in the same manner as the person he once was. He continued for a lot longer than he ought to have, and he did it with a lot of sass the entire time.”
On Sunday, several people left comments on various social media sites praising Odjick as a fantastic person who was kind to the communities in which he lived.