After posting Where Are They Now? Part 2 a while back, I noticed that there are still many names in the hockey world that have disappeared from the headlines either because they are not active in the game anymore, not as popular as they used to have been, or for some other reasons. In Part 2, we read about the steep fall in production of Jonathan Cheechoo, the North American departure of Alexei Yashin, the injury to Blake Geoffrion, and the disappearance of John Ferguson, Jr in Leafland. However, all four of them, as we discovered, are all still in the game, one way or another. Cheechoo plays in the KHL, Yashin is the GM of the Russian national womens’ hockey team, Geoffrion is an NHL pro scout, and Ferguson, Jr. works for the Boston Bruins. Let’s take a look at these personalities in this episode of “Where Are They Now?”.
He was one of the most likeable and respected goalies in the NHL during his career, and as the first ever African-born player in the NHL, Kolzig became a household name in Washington during his 14-year career with the Capitals. Despite being born in South Africa, he played for Germany and was a German hockey pioneer. From 1995 to 2007, Kolzig was the starting goalie for the Capitals and won a Vezina, William Jennings, and King Clancy Awards during that span. However, after signing with Tampa Bay in 2008 to a one-year contract, he got injured in January 2009 and was out for the rest of the season. He was traded to Toronto at the traded deadline, but only for salary cap purposes. He never played for the Maple Leafs and retired. He likely did not want to retire that way; he wanted to help young goalie Mike Smith grow into the starting role in Tampa Bay and become his mentor. Although many people forget about his great long career, Washington fans definitely do not. Kolzig is now a part-owner of the Western Hockey League’s Tri-City Americans. He raises awareness for autism and has a son, Carson, who was diagnosed with it. He is a great influence off the ice as he takes part in many local services in the Washington area.
As a tough guy on the St. Louis Blues in 2004, Danton pled guilty to attempting to hire a hitman to kill his agent, David Frost. I don’t want to get into the details and conspiracies of the case, but he was eventually sentenced to seven and a half years in prison. Danton, however, did not give up his hockey dream he desperately wanted to fully fulfill after playing only one full NHL season. While imprisoned, he took correspondence courses at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario and then applied to Saint Mary’s University in Halifax. He then returned to competitive hockey after being released from prison for the Saint Mary’s Huskies in 2010. The Huskies actually went on to win the University Cup that season and Danton enjoyed success. In 2011, Danton signed with IFK Ore in Sweden’s third-tier league. However, in just his first game with the club, he saved teammate Marcus Bengtsson’s life by preventing him from choking on his tongue after Bengtsson hit his head on the ice. The infamous player is creating a good name for himself in the lower-tier hockey leagues in Europe. However, he recently played for the highest level leagues in the UK and Austria. He now plays in Poland.
The famed (or in-famed) enforcer who played most of his career with the Buffalo Sabres was one of the biggest fighters in the game in the early 2000s. He fought so much that he even fought his brother, Geoff, in the AHL. Andrew Peters got well over 100 penalty minutes in many seasons, including suspensions. After stints with the New Jersey Devils, Florida Panthers, and Vancouver Canucks, Peters retired in 2011. He is now in the media business as a host on the Buffalo sports radio station WGR 550 and is also on TWCS.
What happened to Miikka Kiprusoff and others? Read more in Where Are They Now? Part IV.