How many deaths have there been in the NHL and NFL in the last 20 years?

San Francisco 49er backup offensive lineman Thomas Herrion died after a preseason game in 2005. Minnesota Viking offensive lineman Corey Stringer died of heatstroke after a training camp practice in 2001. Prior to that St. Louis Cardinal tight end J.V. Cain died of a heart attack in traning camp in 1979 and Chuck Hughes, receiver for the Detroit Lions, died on the field of a heart attack during a game in 1971.

I could find no information concerning deaths in the NHL in the past 20 years. There was a 14 year old fan that lost her life due to complications from being hit in the head by a puck at a Columbus Blue Jackets game in 2002. in 1967, Bill Masterton of the Minnesota North Stars lost his life the day after hitting his head on the ice following a body check.

Maybe someone out there can give more information concerning NHL deaths. _____________________________________________________ Alexei Cherepanov Luc Bourdon DEATHS IN NHL --letsgopens _____________________________________________________ Bill Masterton is the ONLY player to have died as a direct result of an injury sustained during an NHL hockey game. In 1967 Masterton was coaxed out of retirement to play with the Minnesota North Stars during their inaugural season. He is credited with scoring the first goal in North Stars' history.

On January 13, 1968, early in a game against the Oakland Seals, Masterton was hit almost simultaneously by two of the Seal players and fell backwards hitting his head on the ice. Two days later he passed away from a massive hemorage. This event, more than any other, was the impetous for making NHL players wear helmets during games.

The Masterton trophy for dedication, sportsmanship, and perseverance is awarded annually by the NHL in his honor. His jersey number 19 was never again worn by any North Star player and was officially retired in 1987. After the team moved to Dallas, the retired number is still honored by the franchise.

In 2008, Richard Zednick was accidently slashed by a skate across his throat while playing for the Florida Panthers against the Buffalo Sabres in Buffalo. Although the injury was definitely life-threatening, quick action by Zednick to get off the ice and the trainers of both teams and local doctors prevented a tragic ending.

In 1989, ironically also in Buffalo, Clint Malarchuk also had his throat slashed by a skate while playing goal for the Sabres. Again, due to quick actions by those at the rink, Malarchuk's life was also saved after the accident. Both Malarchuk and Zednick returned to their teams and played again after recovering from their respective accidents.

In 2006, Rene Bourque was playing for the Chicago Blackhawks against the Columbus Blue Jackets and suffered an accident similar to Zednick's. However, luckily for Bourque, the injury was not as severe and apparently he was not in nearly as much danger as either Malarchuk or Zednick. Although the injury was undoubtedly very scary for Bourque at the time.

There are some who would credit Howie Morentz's death to an on-ice broken leg and the complications that resulted. However, the cause of death listed for Morentz was "pulmonary embolism". This may or may not have been indirectly caused by the broken leg and could also have been a result of the alchohol that was sneaked to Morentz by his friends while he was in the hospital.

Alexei Cherepanov died of heart failure while playing in the Russian Kontinental Hockey League league, not in the NHL. He had actually been revived and was on the way to the hospital when he passed out and due to a dead battery in a defribulator, was then unable to be revived. The actual reason for his death is still apparently being debated.

Luc Bourdon was killed while riding a brand new motorcycle he had purchased less than two weeks before the accident. He did not die as a result of a hockey incident.

There have been other incidents in other leagues and non-professionals that have been killed while playing hockey over the years, but the Masterton death is the only one in the NHL itself.