On March 11, 2014, Terry Trafford’s body was found in Saginaw, Michigan. An autopsy concluded that the cause of death was asphyxiation, and that it was self-inflicted.
He had been sent home by the OHL Saginaw Spirit for violating team rules, and felt his hockey career was over. He had been missing since March 3; Skye Cieszlak, his girlfriend, told Yahoo Sports at the time that Trafford was “completely devastated” when she spoke to him after the cut.
His death prompted an outcry for better mental health education and treatment options in the OHL, as well as for young players to not hesitate to use those options at their disposal.
One year later, Yahoo Canada went back to Michigan where Trafford played to understand the legacy of his tragic death - in raising awareness for mental health issues and opening up the discourse for many young people. This is the first in a series of videos aimed at furthering the discussion on mental health and sports.