By now, everyone and their grandmother has written an article and expressed their opinion about the 3 NHL "tough guys" that have died in the past 3 months, and it is disgusting to see so much misinformation being spread.
First ... for those total morons that insist on lumping Bob Probert into this mess I say get a clue. Probie was on a boat enjoying life with his family when his heart decided to explode. You only get X amount of beats out of a heart and Probie used his all up. If it weren't for that, he'd still be here, commenting on those others that have passed.
Second ... yes it's sad, shocking, and thought provoking when something like this happens, but do we know all of the circumstances as to why ? No we don't. At this time we can only assume it had something to do with their envolvement in hockey and the role they played. We all know what happens when we 'assume' anything. To assume their deaths had anything to do with them being 'enforcers' on the ice is just a knee-jerk reaction which could cause more problems than it fixes.
Being an enforcer in the NHL is a unique role in pro sports and it makes me wonder how much the instigator penalty influences their 'technique' and behavior both on and off the ice. Because of that one penalty, fights pretty much have to be set up or pre-determined. Gone are the days when any random player can jump a guy the second he makes a stupid mistake. The instigator penalty has shortened the list of players that will drop the gloves, and made those that do feel more isolated. Eliminate the penalty and even the playing field ... get everyone involved and the 'enforcer' won't feel so alone. For all we know, it may also lead to fewer stupid penalties like high sticks, stray elbows to the chin, head shots etc. If all players know they are fair game and will get the crap beat out of them at any given time, maybe it will clean the game up and players will have more respect for one another, making it a safer game to play.
If we set aside our emotions and take the time to properly investigate each death individually, we will eventually come to a proper conclusion that may or may not involve hockey. Depression ? Perhaps, but not necessarily hockey related. Until that happens, its all just speculation.