Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tragedy strikes Windsor Spitfires with sudden death of team captain

Calling it the worst tragedy in Windsor Spitfire history, team vice-president and general manager Warren Rychel seemed to speak for all hockey fans when he said "Words alone cannot describe our pain at this time."

Hours before, Mickey Renaud, the popular 19 year old captain of the Ontario Hockey League’s Windsor Spitfires had passed away on Monday morning, after collapsing at his parent’s home in Tecumseh, Ontario.

Despite the efforts of paramedics and hospital staff in Windsor, the teenager was not able to be resuscitated, leaving not only his hometown of Windsor in shock but the entire hockey community stunned by the news.

A popular third year player with the Spitfires, Renaud had a promising future having been selected in the fifth round of the 2007 draft by the Calgary Flames who were keeping an interested eye in his development as a player and a leader.

Renaud was frequently seen around Windsor area schools talking to students; in fact he was scheduled to take part in a team function later in the day at the Windsor arena, as part of the Spitfires celebration of Ontario's Family Day holiday, a day that took on a somber tone as news quickly spread about his passing.

One person affected quite a bit by the devastating news was New York Islander head coach Ted Nolan, his son Jordan plays for the Spitfires and was close to Renaud, Nolan missed a portion of his Islanders game on Monday afternoon, consoling his son and battling through his own emotions on the tragic news. As he correctly put it, some things are more important than hockey.

It’s a sentiment that many hockey fans will share as they offer up their own private condolences to a family, which now has to deal with one of life’s worst nightmares, the incomprehensible passing of a youngster well before his time surely had come.

Windsor Star--Neighbours in 'shock'
Photo from Globe and Mail website

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