Saturday, August 8, 2009

Aug 8, 1992: John Kordic’s death was another for Club 27


On this day in 1992, police were called to the Motel Maxim in L'Ancienne-Lorette, Quebec.

Upon their arrival, nine police officers found pro hockey player John Kordic, apparently under the influence of cocaine, trashing a room in the motel.

The officers were forced to wrestle the enforcer to the ground to make an arrest.

An ambulance was called in as Kordic lost consciousness.

He subsequently died of heart failure and a collapsed lung due to lack of oxygen.

John Kordic was just 27 years old at the time of his death.


A coroner’s inquest was made due to the police involvement where Dr. Georges Miller found that no excessive force by police or incompetence on the part of the ambulance attendants resulted in his death. There was speculation that the ambulance workers did not administer oxygen soon enough.

Kordic had 0.1 milligrams of cocaine in his system, which according to to Dr. Miller, was the most cocaine he had ever seen in a person's blood in his twenty years of practice.

There was also speculation that Kordic was using steroids in training and that the mix of that along with cocaine and alcohol put him over the final brink.

Kordic’s drug and alcohol problems were no secret to NHL fans, with numerous suspensions and issues with teammates and coaches.

He was also awaiting a preliminary court hearing for an assault charge, filed by his fiancée Nancy Masse, scheduled for August 11. has this write up on Kordic leading up to his death.

Kordic's coaches and teammates often accused him of being so selfish that he never worried about team concerns, and toward the end of his career, he was sent home from the minor leagues because he was said to be infecting young players with his bad attitude.

Nevertheless, it was a shock and a tragedy when Kordic's addiction finally brought about his death at age 27 in August 1992. In the two weeks before his life ended, Kordic knew he was in danger of drinking himself to death.

In late July 1992, he phoned James Fearing, his Minneapolis based addiction counselor, and asked Fearing to visit him in Quebec City, where he was preparing for a training-camp tryout with Edmonton.

While working out with his friend Tony Twist, Kordic began to worry that he was falling off the wagon, and he told Fearing that despite all of his efforts he did not think he could defeat his addiction.

Fearing agreed to come to Quebec in mid-August 1992, but that would prove to be too late

Kordic always had a reputation as a tough guy in hockey but was a winner in his early career.

After winning a Memorial Cup Championship with the Portland Winter Hawks in 1983, Kordic was drafted in the fourth round my the Montreal Canadiens.

He would contribute to the Sherbrooke Canadiens’ Calder Cup team in 1985 and appear in 18 playoff games for the NHL club during their 1986 Stanley Cup Championship.

Kordic would be traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the now famous Russ Courtnall deal in November 1988.

Having two seasons in Toronto later, he played just ten games for the Leafs and Washington Capitals in 1990-91 before being signed as a free agent in October 1991 by the Quebec Nordiques.

Kordic vs. Lynden Byers

Though lesser known on a worldwide level, Kordic’s death at age 27 puts him in a group of well known individuals who have lost their lives under bizarre or tragic circumstances.

Most notably are “Club 27” members made up of musicians the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Rolling Stone’s guitarist Brian Jones and blues pioneer Robert Johnson.

Amongst sports stars, ex-NFLer/soldier Pat Tillman is the most recent well known tragedy, followed by MLB pitcher Steve Olin and “own goal” soccer murder victim Andres Escobar.


Anonymous said...

tupac and biggie

Anonymous said...

tupac and biggie did not die under bizare circumstances. If you hang around gangs and gang members you should not be surprised if you get shot.

Anonymous said...

Kordic played only 7 games here in Washington and managed to ring up over 100 PIM during those games. The corollary on that was that the Caps went 5-1-1 in the games Kordic played. During those 7 games, no one pushed the Caps around.

A real shame....

Anonymous said...

no but they died at 27

Anonymous said...

Those Jay Miller & John Kordic fights were classics Miller a rightie and Johnnie a leftie and how they would let the punchies fly.....