Another actor from the film “Youngblood” has passed away. Patrick Swayze died yesterday after battling pancreatic cancer for the past 20 months. He was 57 years of age. Voted People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive in 1991, Swayze is best known for films “Dirty Dancing” and “Ghost.” But hockey aficionados will always remember him as Derek Sutton, team captain of the Hamilton Mustangs in “Youngblood.”
Swayze’s character of Sutton was cool. He got the ladies, he could score goals and he could fight. He explained to Dean Youngblood that he’d be happy to play for the “Tallahassee Warthogs,” and also uttered my favorite line in the film: “Thank God there is a sport for middle-sized white boys.”
Swayze is the second person from that film to pass away this year. Back in May, former NHL player Peter Zezel died. Zezel played a non-speaking character named Rossini (he’s the guy who gets sent out to replace Dean at the end of the film, only to skate back to the bench). Although Zezel played mostly for teams that rivaled the Blackhawks, I was a fan of his because of his role in the film.
As a tribute to Swayze–and a belated one to Zezel–here are some custom hockey cards I made (seen at the top, and below). “Youngblood” was a film I enjoyed many times over during my teenage years. Thanks for the happy memories, guys.