David (Dave) Ezard
Sport: Hockey: Year Inducted: 2000
Hometown heros come in all shapes and sizes. Defenceman David “Dave” Ezard, who was born in 1959, was proof that dynamite comes in small packages. He was the quintessential hockey hero at a time when Cornwall held a prominent position on the national junior hockey map.
The Cornwall Minor Hockey Association grad became one of the most feared offensive defencemen in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. In his five seasons with Cornwall Royals, he was a dominant offensive force on the team’s blueline.
He capped his lengthy junior career with a Memorial Cup Championship ring in 1980. He was named the Championship tournament’s Most Valuable Player, a huge honor considering some of the celebrated talent in the 1980 Championship.
Somehow, the National Hockey League overlooked the man who possessed what “The Hockey News” editor-in-chief Steve Dryden called “One of the hardest shots in hockey”. “Time has a way of magnifying things, but that shot was every bit as hard as anything I’ve ever seen in the NHL”, said Dryden. Dave was overlooked in the NHL draft, and he was also not rewarded with a free-agent tryout. It was, to many, a terrible oversight.
Amazingly, his Quebec Junior Hockey League single-season goal-scoring record for defencemen (40), set in 1980, lasted for almost 10 seasons, That same record-setting season (1979-80), he won the team scoring title with 105 points, a rare feat for a defenceman in the high-scoring QMJHL.
He was the only defenceman in Royals history (1957-1992) to score more than 30 goals in a season, and was the only Royals defenceman to have back-to-back 30-goal seasons, 36 and 40.
The Cornwall Colts honoured Dave by retiring his number 6 after “Eazy” left us all to soon in 1995 after a battling Liver disease.
A year after his death the local chapter of the Canadian Liver Foundation organized a walk in Dave’s name. The walk was held at the Civic Complex for six years and raised over $100,000 towards Liver Disease research.