Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Barry Tabobondung

I stumbled across this story on Wikipedia. This is one of those stories that seems like it should be used as the "inspired by a true story" for a CBC movie.

Barry Tabobondung was a Native Canadian (Ojibwa) who was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers, but never played in the NHL.

At the 1981 entry draft, he was drafted in the 3rd round and was so excited to hear his name he attempted to make his way to the stage by climbing over rows and rows of seats. As he made his way to the stage his leg became caught in between two seats, where he remained for two hours until the maintenance staff was able to free him by removing an entire row of the seats (well...by one account anyhow. Another had the time stuck in the seats at less than 10 minutes and it only requiring the removal of one seat to get him out. But 2 hours is a better story).

Barry spent the next 10 years playing professional hockey in a variety of North American minor leagues. He retired in 1991 and moved back home to his reserve in Parry Sound.

After completing his hockey career, Barry became an important member of his community. He coached hockey for the local junior team and became a councilor for the local first nations. He even found time to have a son, Tommy, in 1992.

Barry resigned as head coach of the Parry Sound junior team at the end of the 1999-2000 season. A few months after his resignation, he was working as an equipment operator, running a road grader. On July 11, he had taken his son Tommy with him to work. At one point, Tommy fell out of the cab of the grader. Barry acted quickly and jumped out to save his son before he could be run over by the rear wheels of the grader. In the process, Barry himself was run over and trapped underneath the rear wheels. Barry was pronounced dead at the scene. His son survived with a broken leg.


ocean_wavesann said...

Get your facts straight...Barry's wife...from the time he started his hockey career in the NHL to the time of his accident..who are you to judge like you have all the answers

Dave said...

Wow. Seriously? Judge like I have all the facts? You're correct, I really only had one source for my story. It just sounded like a really interesting and touching story. I'm not sure where your suggestion of "judgement" creeps in. And if that's not the story, why don't you tell us what it is?