When asked to comment on the life of the late E.J. McGuire, NHL Network analyst Craig Button found just the right words.
"E.J. had foresight and he had vision," Button told NHL.com. "But more than that, he had a love for the future of the game and the future of the game is these young players. We spend too much time picking apart players; E.J. celebrated their gifts and qualities that were going to make them special in the NHL."
| Craig Button, NHL Network analyst
Button was working for both the NHL Network and TSN on Friday during the fitness-testing portion of the NHL Scouting Combine at the Toronto Congress Centre.
"This Combine was his vision," Button continued. "It was about making it more thorough, more complete, and giving the teams the information they needed. We talk about the interviewing and fitness testing portion of the Combine, but E.J. was one person who always considered the medical testing equally important. We don't have to go back very far to remember David Carle
and how a medical test saved that young boy's life."
An abnormality in Carle's heart that put him at risk for sudden cardiac death if he exerted too much energy was first detected by doctors at the Combine in June, 2008, prompting a visit to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
NHL Central Scouting had Carle rated No. 60 among North American skaters that year, setting him up to go as high as the second round.
Thanks to McGuire's foresight, the young defenseman was properly diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy -- a thickening of the heart that had previously been cited in the sudden death of young athletes.
Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale