Wally Tatomir, the longtime equipment manager of Carolina Hurricanes, passed away this Sunday. He was a pioneering man for the team backstage alongside Bob Gorman and Skip Cunningham. Read on to know how did Wally Tatomir die and what was the cause of his death.
The three men worked a lot when the Hurricanes moved to North Carolina 25 years ago. Tatomir had served the club for most of his life before turning to drive equipment trucks.
How did Wally Tatomir die?
Wally Tatomir died on Sunday, September 18, 2022, due to a heart attack at his home outside Boone which he bought in 2007. His family and friends gathered by him on Sunday.
Tatomir is survived by his wife Constance, sons Shane and Ty, daughter Kim, stepsons Derek and Mike Beneteau, and 10 grandchildren. He also had a song named Brandon White from his previous relationship.
“Really, hockey was his passion,” his widow, Constance, said. “No doubt about it. He loved his family and he had a million friends, and buddies as he would say. Everybody was his buddy. He was just that kind of happy, go-lucky kind of guy,” said Tatomir’s widow Constance.
Tatomir’s funeral arrangements are awaited. We’ll update the details later.
Wally Tatomir dead: What was the cause of his death?
Wally Tatomir died of a heart attack last week. He was 76 years old. Tatomir also suffered a heart attack previously this summer in Florida. However, recovered well and got back to driving his truck.
Unfortunately, Tatomir got another heart attack this Sunday and couldn’t survive this time. Hurricanes will forever remember his contributions to the team backstage.
Who was Wally Tatomir?
Wally Tatomir was born in 1946 and grew up in Windsor, Ontario. He first met former Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford when Jim was playing for the Detroit Red Wings. Tatomir was helping out at home games while working for a trucking company at that time.
When Peter Karmanos hired Rutherford to run his junior hockey teams, he brought Tatomir along with him. After that, Karmanos bought the Hartford Whalers in 1994 and the duo started working there.
Tatomir stayed with Rutherford from his time as the Hurricanes GM until retiring from the team in 2012. He had been the regular fixture in the early years and was a pioneering innovator in his profession. Tatomir owns more than two dozen patents.
Even after his retirement, Tatomir never left the game. He was highly skilled in sharpening and balancing skate blades. Players would come to the Hurricanes from other teams and find new life in their legs.
On the day of his death, Tatomir had an order for his custom skate blades from an NHL team waiting to be filled at his house in Boone. Unfortunately, Tatomir couldn’t fill it but his legacy will remain here forever.
Carolina Hurricanes pay homage to Wally Tatomir
Carolina Hurricanes have paid tribute to their former equipment manager who served them for a very long time in an emotional post.
“In the impending celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Carolina Hurricanes’ move to North Carolina, it’s easy to forget just what a mess things were that first season in Greensboro, not just on the ice and in the empty stands, but behind the scenes.
The team was essentially on the road at home, a burden that fell as hard on equipment manager Wally Tatomir and his two longtime partners, Bob Gorman and Skip Cunningham, than anyone else,” they wrote.”
The tribute remembers Tatomir as a jovial character who knew everyone and was never shy to let them know what he thought. It also reveals that he often tucked away a puck somewhere in his tracksuit to throw at an unsuspecting kid.
“He was always ahead of everything,” said the then-GM Rutherford. “He was so prepared for what the players wanted and what the team needed, there really aren’t any stories that jump out at you where he forgot to do something or he had to scream to get it done or had to order something at the last minute. He was so well prepared. He knew the job inside and out and he was ahead of the curve all the time.”
Our deepest condolences go out to Tatomir’s family. May God let the departed soul rest in peace.