Former Minnesota Wild enforcer Matt Johnson is profiled in a recent extraordinary piece of reporting by Toronto-based sports network TNS that details his fallout after a lengthy, yet brutal career in the National Hockey League.
Johnson, 42, played 473 career games in his professional career, spanning a total of 14 seasons from 1992 through 2004. He spent the last four years of his career with the Minnesota Wild, logging a total of 227 games and racking up an astonishing 698 penalty minutes in those four seasons.
Johnson, who made a career out of being a fighter in the NHL, has had a large falling out since leaving the game -- mentally, physically and financially.
Johnson, who over the course of his career made about $6 million, is now homeless and living on a beach in Santa Monica, Calif, according to the TSN report.
His most-recent whereabouts came via a phone call he had with 58-year-old Scott Bye of Fargo.
Bye, a former college hockey player at Miami of Ohio University, is a financial adviser in Fargo. The TSN report said Bye has worked with close to 60 NHL clients over the past 20 years.
One of those clients was Johnson, whom Bye was introduced to during the mid-1990s by Rob Blake, Johnson's former teammate with the Los Angeles Kings.
Upon hearing Johnson's whereabouts, Bye flew to Santa Monica to look for him.
Arming himself with a photo of Johnson in a white Kings jersey, Bye visited a Wells Fargo branch where Johnson had recently sent some faxes to his former agent, Ron Salcer.
Bye tried everything in his power to find Johnson, according to the TSN report.
From contacting police and talking to firefighters, to combing the library and introducing himself to people cleaning the public bathrooms, Bye came up empty in his pursuit to find Johnson.
Upon returning to Fargo, Bye made a phone call to the Johnson family to tell them he had not found their son.
"I told Lee and Brenda it would be good if they went out and look for him," Bye said. "He's their family. I guess the big question is if you find him what happens next?"
To keep reading more about this story, click here.