2002-03 Fleer Throwbacks card #23 – Todd Ewen
Nicknamed “The Animal”, Ewen was an enforcer in the National Hockey League for eleven seasons, playing for St. Louis, Montreal, Anaheim and San Jose before a knee injury ended his career in 1997.
On the front of this card, issued in the 2002-03 Fleer Throwbacks set, Ewen very much looks like an animal, as he chomps down on a puck. Usually, this sort of posturing is more akin to pro wrestlers than pro hockey players, but given that Ewen is the subject, it is most appropriate. One can almost see a resemblance between him and the Sharks logo. Then again, Ewen’s baggy jowls liken him more to a bulldog, making “The Animal” a fitting label indeed.
In 511 career NHL games, “The Animal” amassed 1,911 penalty minutes – mainly for fighting. Throughout his career, Ewen was a heavyweight among hockey’s pugilists, routinely squaring off against the league’s toughest. In one of Ewen’s most memorable fights, he KO’d Bob Probert with just one punch.
But Ewen was not just an “animal” – he was a leader too. During his three seasons in Anaheim, he served as an assistant captain for the Mighty Ducks. Ewen continues that leadership role today; he currently coaches amateur hockey, and also has his own series of instructional hockey videos – fittingly entitled “Todd Ewen’s Animal Hockey”.