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Ettinger Died From Gunshot, No Foul Play

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Ettinger died from gunshot, no foul play


By DAVENE JEFFREY -- Halifax Herald

Trevor Ettinger, the pro hockey player whose body was found at his mother's Upper Kennetcook home Saturday afternoon, died of a gunshot wound.

Paramedics say the strapping 23-year-old died at the scene. Police say there was no foul play.

Bill Schurman, business manager for the Moncton Wildcats, one of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League teams for which Mr. Ettinger played as a teenager, said the mystery behind this family tragedy will eventually come out.

"In the end, water will find its level and the story will be told," he said Monday.

"People look for answers, and they should, but right now it's tough when there's none there."

Mr. Schurman dismissed rumours of a troubled love life. Others in Mr. Ettinger's home community of Upper Kennetcook suggest the shooting was accidental. One police source indicated on Saturday it was a suicide.

Regardless, police will not pursue the case further.

"The file is closed now and foul play has been ruled out," said RCMP spokeswoman Michelle Raoul Winters.

Paramedics responded to a 911 call from the Miller Road home at about 3:30 p.m. Saturday, said Emergency Health Services spokeswoman Jean Spicer.

An air ambulance helicopter was put on standby and an ambulance was sent to the home, she said.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Ettinger Funeral Home in Shubenacadie.

The Wildcats and the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, who upon admission to the Quebec league selected Mr. Ettinger with their first pick in the midget draft, were among those paying tribute Monday to the six-foot-five, 230-pound forward-defenceman.

The Screaming Eagles have set up an area at Centre 200 for fans and friends to express their condolences. The area will be open from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. today.

The Eagles will also hold a memorial service, details of which will be announced later this week.

"We'd like to do it next week," said Paul MacDonald, the team's director of business operations.

Mr. MacDonald said Mr. Ettinger's death is a blow to the Eagles, for whom he played most of three seasons, and to Cape Bretoners.

"We're having a hard time with this," he said.

"It's hard to explain the impact Trevor had on our team and Cape Breton."

He said the young captain gave everything he had to the Eagles on and off the ice and was comfortable in all situations, whether dealing with the youngest fans, seniors or businessmen.

"He was genuine," Mr. MacDonald said.

Mr. Ettinger was traded to Moncton in January 2000 and became the Wildcats' captain and one of their most popular players, Mr. Schurman said.

A condolence book will be open to the public to sign at the team's office in the Moncton Coliseum.

Mr. Ettinger spent parts of the past two seasons with the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League and had signed a new deal for next season with the Crunch, the Columbus Blue Jackets' top farm team.

Last season, he played 38 games at left wing, scoring one goal and two assists and racking up 149 penalty minutes. He also played with the Dayton Bombers of the East Coast Hockey League.

Mr. Ettinger played minor hockey in East Hants and AAA midget with Pictou County before his major junior career. The Edmonton Oilers drafted him 159th overall in 1998.

Mr. Ettinger is survived by his mother, Edna Wardrope, father Robert, stepfather Ross Wardrope and sisters Lindsay, Michelle and Amanda.

The family has requested that donations be made to the East Hants Minor Hockey Association, an animal shelter or any charity.

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