I have the stat page for Terry Trafford up from the Ontario Hockey League web site. Eight goals and 24 assists in 54 games so far this season. That puts him tied for 149th in points (goals and assists combined) in the league. As a center, that's not all that great; tagging him as more of a passer than a scorer. The OHL is one of three major junior-hockey leagues in North America (in a nether-region between pro and amateur; the NCAA treats it as pro, but Canadian colleges treat it as amateur) and is a training ground for older teens (16-20 is the bracket) who need better competition than their local high school or college circuit can provide.
He just turned 20, having his birthday on Valentine's Day, which means he has at most one more year of eligibility for junior hockey. The so-so stats and his age would indicate that he was close to the end of the line of his competitive hockey career, as he was about to age out of junior hockey and seemed to be a iffy choice for an NHL team in the draft this summer. Getting suspended by the Saginaw Spirit last month wasn't going to help matters going forward as future pro teams evaluated Trafford.
I speak of Trafford in the past tense, since his body was found in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart in Saginaw Tuesday afternoon; one of my New Life Vineyard friends was a manager at that Wal-Mart years ago. The suspension seems to have been the last straw to Trafford's psyche, where he saw his hockey career essentially go up in flames and would have to shift gears to a non-hockey life in the very near future. After the suspension, his girlfriend noted-"He texted me and told me his life was over and that he didn't want to do it anymore."
For a hockey-crazed Canadian kid (sorry for the stereotype, but it might fit well here), hitting the end of the line of his hopes of making it to the NHL might be very depressing. Add that to the fact that he was dealing with depression issues to begin with made him an accident looking to happen, especially when he was being sent "home" to metro Toronto and his girlfriend was a native Saginaw gal who graduated from suburban Heritage High with Trafford.
Trafford was faced with the transition of having dreams of being the next Tim Horton to working at a Tim Hortons; Horton was a defenseman for Trafford's home town Leafs and Trafford was a center, but give me some poetic license. The Canadian economy seems to have weathered the economic stagnancy better than the US, but Trafford was faced with going into the general economy rather than a hockey career, which is a daunting task these days.
In a stagnant economy, middle-aged folks often commit suicide when they're let go from a higher-level job, knowing that they are unlikely to get work on that level again and will be hard-pressed to round down to a lesser job. Trafford might have hit that middle-age crisis at age 20 and couldn't handle it.
I can relate to Trafford's dillema.
I'm still looking for my spot in the economy as one who proved not to have the temperament to be a good college professor and can't find an alternative spot in the economy. Having a wife to lean on and a God to lean on even when He seems very pokey to lend a hand career-wise has kept me from seriously dwelling on packing it in, but not everyone is that blessed, including a statistically-mediocre junior hockey center.