BRANTFORD, ONT.Former NHLer Stan Jonathan has been charged with criminal negligence causing death after Peter Kosid of Hamilton was killed on a native reserve outside Brantford Sunday morning. While out hunting, Jonathan, 57, a Six Nations band member, allegedly fired a round that travelled about 375 metres before hitting Kosid, who was bow-hunting on a friend’s nearby property. According to local police, Jonathan was deer hunting and was not with, or known to, Kosid, who was shot in the back. Jonathan was in bail court around noon on Wednesday. The Ontario Provincial Police Forensic Identification Branch is helping with the investigation. An Ohsweken, Ont. native, Jonathan spent eight of his nine NHL seasons with the Boston Bruins, collecting 201 points in 411 appearances during his career.

It goes without saying that this is a horrible tragedy for Peter Kosid and his family, though I’ll say it anyway.  But with any accident like this – and based on the news reports this was the dictionary definition of “accident”- everyone involved suffers.  None of us can imagine what Kosid’s loved ones are going through obviously.  But your heart has to go out to Jonathan as well.  The guilt over something like this, no matter how accidental the accident, has to just be unbearable.  And it’s particularly hard because Stan Jonathan is one of the all time most likable guys ever to play in Boston.  God knows I’m not the world’s biggest hockey guy.  But when Jonathan was playing I was.  To a generation of Bruins fans, the guys who followed them in the Dark Ages between the Bobby Orr teams and the Cam Neely-Ray Borgue years, Stan Jonathan was a hero.  The nails tough, over-achieving folk legend who personified the Don Cherry teams.  Jonathan (5-8, 175) was the guy who once beat the snot out of Pierre Bouchard (6-2, 205) and if my memory serves (I’m going by memory here) had a hat trick in Game 6 of the semifinals against Montreal to force a 7th game against a team the Bruins had no business beating.  And as legend has is, Jonathan got paid the ultimate compliment when Cherry compared him to his dog Blue.

I concede it might be inappropriate to be talking about a hockey career in face of a terrible tragedy like this.  But I’m bringing this up because you can’t overstate how beloved Jonathan was in this town and it’s profoundly sad to see one of your boyhood idols be involved in such an awful incident.  On behalf of every Stoolie over the age of 40 our condolences to Kosid’s family first and foremost.  But to Stan Jonathan as well. @JerryThornton1