Teddy Balkind was a star hockey player from Connecticut who played for St. Luke’s School. His story, unfortunately, ended too soon. And instead of his name being remembered alongside his efforts on the ice, it’s attached to a tragedy that culminated in his untimely death.
As far as we know, Teddy Balkind was an only child to a mother and father whose names aren’t disclosed. There isn’t much information regarding the short life of St. Luke’s standout athlete, but we’ll do our best to learn more about Teddy, his family, and the legacy he leaves behind in Connecticut.
1. Teddy Balkind (2004 – January 6, 2022)
Known For: Hockey Player for St. Luke’s School
Teddy Balkind was the youngest and possibly the only child of the Balkind family.
Conflicting information surrounds the specifics of Teddy Balkind’s age, but according to most reports, he was likely a sophomore in high school at the time of his death and somewhere between 16 or 18-years-old. Information on his life and details regarding his parents or any siblings is unknown.
Teddy Balkind (pictures of Teddy can be viewed at this link) was a standout hockey player out of Connecticut – a state famous for producing some of the best hockey talents in America. Some of those names include Chris Drury, Cam Atkinson, Craig Janney, Jonathan Quick, Matt Hussey, and Ryan Shannon, to name a few.
Balkind was a right-winger, which in hockey means it’s their sole responsibility to create offensive scoring chances and score goals. To put it simply, Teddy was the guy his teammates and coaches counted on not to fold under pressure and provide the scoring support to bring the game home.
But on January 6, 2022, on a Thursday, Teddy took a fall on the ice during a game against Brunswick High School. While on the ground, an opposing player, who was also on the floor, was unable to stop his momentum from colliding with Teddy and cutting his neck with the blade from his skate.
The medical staff was reportedly quick to the scene and initiated medical treatment in an attempt to stabilize the boy for transport for emergency surgery at Greenwich Hospital. In a statement from the head of Greenwich Police Department, Marc Zuccerella, detailing the events following the collision, he broke the news that Teddy “tragically did not survive the operation.”
For Teddy Balkind, his injuries were too severe to be operable.
In the wake of his passing, Brunswick High School released a statement: “Tragedies such as this are hard to process and impossible to understand. We will do all we can in the coming days and weeks to help and support those in our community and in the St. Luke’s community.”
Hockey players belong to a special fraternity, and this tragedy only reinforced that brotherhood shared between these fierce competitors. The NHL released a statement on Twitter that read, “The NHL mourns the passing of Teddy Balkind #sticksoutforTeddy.”
Members of Teddy’s community and others who followed this story took to social media to show their solidarity with St. Luke’s by including the #SticksOutForTeddy hashtag, accompanied by photographs of hockey sticks on their front porches.
Members of the NHL, from teams to players, sent their condolences. Anaheim Ducks star Kevin Shattenkirk wrote on Twitter: “The hockey world is hurting over the tragic loss of Teddy Balkind Yesterday. Our thoughts and prayers are with the young players from St. Luke’s and Brunswick and especially the Balkind family. Rest In Peace Teddy #sticksoutforTeddy.”
Another statement from the New York Rangers read: “The New York Rangers send their deepest condolences to the family, friends and community of Teddy Balkind, who tragically passed away as the result of an accident during a Connecticut high school hockey game on Thursday night.” They continued, “While it’s hard to put into words the impact of such a loss, know that our thoughts, prayers and hearts are with you.”
As a result of his death, debates reignited over whether it should be mandatory to wear a neck guard during competitive play. Now eight months since his tragic passing, neck guards are still not a requirement in organized hockey.
Team USA Hockey’s player safety manager, Kevin Margarucci, said that the incident was a prevalent topic during a meeting held in January, but the organization couldn’t come to a unanimous decision to instate a new policy.
“We haven’t closed the door to anything,” Margarucci stated. A few days after his death, a friend of Teddy’s created a petition on change.org imploring USA Hockey to mandate neck guards. The petition is still active and is currently over 130,000 signatures.
Did You Know?
Aside from hockey, he also enjoyed mountain biking in his free time. Balkind wore #5 for his high school, and we’re willing to bet that number will go up in the St. Luke’s rafters to live in immortality.