Saturday, May 2, 2009
The CBJ family lost one of their most ardent and courageous followers yesterday, when Ryan Salmons succumbed to the cancer that he had so valiantly battled for the past year.
Ryan's death comes just eight days after I saw him in the locker room after the Jackets' Game 4 elimination at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings. Thought the CBJ players were by turns angry and disappointed at the loss, they all took the time to visit with Ryan and his family.
Shown at left with the one day contract with GM Scott Howson "signed" him, Ryan appeared to be thrilled by the attention the Blue Jackets favored him with during these last months, particularly forwards Jason Chimera and Manny Malhotra. Salmons father, Brad, strongly believes that the involvement and caring of the Blue Jackets organization, and the team's playoff run, gave Ryan something to grab onto and live for each day. According to the Dispatch, Ryan finally asked to be sedated yesterday, and died shortly thereafter.
His saga captured the hearts and minds of not only the Blue Jackets and the Columbus community, but the broader hockey and sports worlds as well, as ESPN and the NHL Network both did recent features documenting his battle.
Hopefully, Ryan and Mr. Mac are seated comfortably together, speculating about the draft, free agency and the season to come. Rest well, Ryan.
Posted by JAL at 4:39 PM