Mad Men - beloved hockey legends and the angry side of hockey

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by TheMoreYouKnow, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. TheMoreYouKnow

    TheMoreYouKnow Registered User

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    Inspired by the often heard talking point in threads about dirty hits, Cooke, Chara etc. that the players aren't respectful these days, that brutality is getting worse etc. I thought we could use a thread devoted to some of the rather naughty shenanigans some of the all-time favorites used to engage in back in the day.

    Let's start with the Habs' own Maurice Rocket Richard:

    The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix of March 14th 1955 had the following to say about the incident which ended up with Richard being suspended for the rest of the year:

    "Maurice Richard, fiery star of the Montreal Canadiens, nailed linesman Cliff Thompson with a wicked righthand punch in the third period as Boston Bruins downed the league-leading Canadiens with 4-2 Sunday night in a National Hockey League game.....What set off Richard's outburst appeared to be that when he asked referee Frank Udvari to call a five-minute penalty on Laycoe (me: Boston D-man Hal Laycoe) for drawing blood the referee seemed to shake his head negatively. That set the Rocket off. Richard twice belted Thompson and one of those tremendous right-handed wallops nailed the official. It raised a swelling on Thompson's cheek. The volatile Richard also went after Laycoe with his stick twice as officials tried to restrain both players. Richard managed to connect with Laycoe's head on one of several swings with the stick, cutting Laycoe."

    Everyone of course knows about the ensuing riot..

    Now, I am sure you guys can think of plenty of stories involving guys like Howe, Lindsay, Shore from the earlier days and then the likes of Clarke and Espo in the 70s and later Messier or Chelios. But stories of guys like Dave Schultz or Tie Domi would be besides the point.
     
  2. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    You mentioned Phil Esposito, I can look far and wide and can't remember anything offensive or volatile that he did on the ice. Phil left that stuff for the ladies off the ice :D according to him.

    Clarke obviously has the Kharlamov incident to his name. Not to mention slicing the tongue of (his name escapes me) in the early 1980s

    Messier has a whole slew of them. The spear to Martin Grbak in 2004 comes to mind. People want to talk about deliberate, well, Mess did things deliberate. Knocking Rich Sutter's teeth out with a high stick. Mauling Jamie Macoun in 1984. Throwing a borderline elbow in the 1984 Canada Cup to Kovin (I believe). No doubt Messier did some things on the ice that would light up the boards today.

    Billy Smith and Ron Hextall have their share of cheap shots doled out.
     
  3. TheMoreYouKnow

    TheMoreYouKnow Registered User

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    You know you are right, I thought I remembered him throwing a helmet during the Summit Series 72 but I can't find any evidence looking for it.
     
  4. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Certainly not his own helmet. He never wore one in his career. Only three members of Team Canada 1972 wore helmets. Stan Mikita and Red Berenson who barely played, and.............Paul Henderson. Despite his failed marriages and philandering behaviour off the ice Esposito was a clean player on the ice, maybe a loud mouth to the refs (who knows) but almost always clean on the ice. He'd be a perfect example of what the Lady Byng represented (although his teammate Johnny Bucyk deservingly won it at a time when players seemed more happy to win it)
     
  5. puckhead103*

    puckhead103* Guest

    this is really old school...but eddie shore's hit on ace bailey. that incident was similar to what bertuzzi did to steve moore some years back....
     
  6. VMBM

    VMBM Crawfish Fiesta

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    That was in the 1977 World Championships (his protest against having to wear a helmet there, I think). He also punched the coach of Team CSSR, Dr. Jan Starsi, and the Swedish defenseman, Stig Salming (Börje's older brother), but they might have been off-ice incidents(?). The real psychopath on the ice, however, was actually Wilf Paiement.

    In the 1972 Summit series, his biggest 'crimes' were probably the nasty crosscheck on Ragulin in game 6 and the cut-throat gestures to Boris Mikhailov (yikes!) in game 7.

    Esposito was an a** but not a dirty player IMO.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2011
  7. HF007

    HF007 nWo

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    peter forsberg was beloved but he had a scary side too him if u pissed him off.
     
  8. TheMoreYouKnow

    TheMoreYouKnow Registered User

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    Oh he wasn't a dirty player, especially not by the standards of the time. But certainly quite an emotional guy. I'm just glad I didn't imagine he helmet throwing incident.
     
  9. Blades of Glory

    Blades of Glory Troll Captain

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    When Chris Chelios was traded to Detroit in 1999, Darren McCarty remarked "This is the first time I have seen one of his sticks up close when it's not being broken over my head."
     
  10. TheMoreYouKnow

    TheMoreYouKnow Registered User

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    But on the subject, Ted Lindsay was of course known as Terrible Ted and had quite a few episode of what today would be considered the death of the NHL and make the mothers and soft-hearted sports writers of Canada weep.

    In February 1957 he had a collision with the B's Jerry Toppazzini which ended up with the Bruin being hospitalized. The guy needed 18 stitches to the face to fix the immediate damage and in hospital they discovered various facial fractures. Lindsay's stick was up and you can imagine the rest, Lindsay got a five minute major and when Lindsay argued the call he got a 10 minute misconduct and a $25 fine added on. Angrily, Bruins coach Milt Schmidt accused Lindsay of a hatchet job, which Lindsay denied claiming it was an accident. Toppazzini eventually came to Lindsay's aid and confirmed the accident story. Who knows what really happened, Lindsay has always been a gentleman and nice guy off the ice but on the ice was a different story.

    In the play-offs of 1951 of course Lindsay found himself on the receiving end of a sucker punch by none other than Rocket Richard. Lindsay went to the ground K.O.-ed and the Habs used this shift of momentum and came back from an 0-2 deficit to win the game 4-2. Years later, Frank Selke still credited Richard's punch for the Habs beating the Wings in that series to advance to the Finals.
     
  11. mbhhofr

    mbhhofr Registered User

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    Speaking of Lindsay, I got this story from the referee involved. Bill Roberts, the referee, called a tripping penalty on Detroit and Lindsay argued the call with him. Roberts said to Lindsay, "If that wasn't a trip, I'll be a SOB. Lindsay went to Detroit GM Jack Adams and told Adams that Roberts called him a SOB. Adams had Roberts fired.
     
  12. Theokritos

    Theokritos Moderator

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    Phil Esposito:

    I guess he was - in general. However, one cheap shot is recorded in the Montreal Gazette from 1972, Sept.4th. It occurred at the end of Game 1 of the Summit Series: "Phil Esposito elbowed a defenceless Russian with a surprise shot and Bobby Clarke took down another Russian with a two-handed slash."

    Bobby Clarke: no comment required. For some of the stuff he did they should've put him to jail.
     
  13. justsomeguy

    justsomeguy Registered User

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  14. Killion

    Killion Registered User

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    Based on the premise of anger and just sheer meltdown off the ice, I think you'd be hard pressed to top Brian "Spinner" Spencers' diatribe when, after being traded from Toronto to the Penguins, he went ballistic during an interview (HNIC?), wondering who in their right mind would call a team "Penguins" yadda yadda yadda, ripped off his sweater & started stomping on it in his skates..... For on-ice "anger" leading to complete & utter psychosis, the Green/Maki stick swinging incident is quite possibly the worst of all time at the NHL level, however, if one plumbs the depths of the Minor Pro Leagues, the old EHL in particular, Im sure you'd uncover many a horror beyond humor.
     
  15. TheMoreYouKnow

    TheMoreYouKnow Registered User

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    Another quite revealing newspaper report on Ted Lindsay:

    In January 1955 Lindsay was suspended for 10 days after a violent altercation with a fan. Just to clarify why he was suspended for such a "not unusual" incident, league president Campbell pointed out that it was Lindsay's third such altercation in one season. What happened was, that a fan had grabbed Gordie Howe's stick as he skated by which led Howe and the men to scuffle. Lindsay saw the incident and came in to "wallop" the fan with his hockey stick. The fan later said that he had grabbed Howe's stick because he thought it would hit his little son sitting with him in rink-side seats.

    There was a somewhat different standard of conduct for fans as well. In October 1960 fans in Boston threw a light bulb at Blackhawks goalie Glenn Hall which, one, led to Boston literally scoring in an instant as Hall clutched his face upon being hit by the bulb and, secondly, led to fighting between Bruins fans and Hawks players. The match officials did not stop play when the bulb was thrown and referee MacArthur bluntly stated that the rules provided that play should only be stopped if a player is obviously, seriously hurt which wasn't the case here.
     
  16. TheMoreYouKnow

    TheMoreYouKnow Registered User

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    Another not particularly pacifistic fellow was of course, fan favorite and multiple Cup winner, Eddie "The Entertainer" Shack. In 1958 Shack was with the Rangers and they played an exhibition game against the AHL's Hershey Bears. Shack fought Hershey D-man Larry Zeidel first on the ice and after they both got kicked out of the game in the stands as well. Ten years later expansion had happened and guys like Zeidel who were on the fringe of the league got NHL jobs. Zeidel ended up with the Flyers and his and Shack's paths crossed again. In March 1968 both engaged in a bloody, stick-swinging joust after a cross-check by Zeidel on Shack led to the latter retaliating in kind. Zeidel still tried to get at Shack from the first aid room and had to be forcibly removed from the facility.

    Given the publicity generated by the event, league president Campbell cracked down on the two players, Zeidel got four games and Shack three games.
     
  17. Killion

    Killion Registered User

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    Yikes, I must be getting old. I remember that vicious episode like it was yesterday. I lost whatever respect I mightve' had for Shack in that moment.
     
  18. Dennis Bonvie

    Dennis Bonvie Registered User

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    Not sure if I'm remembering this correctly, but wasn't this fued over Zeidel's Jewish heritage and Shack's lack of tolerance for it?
     
  19. TheMoreYouKnow

    TheMoreYouKnow Registered User

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    I found this in a newspaper (Windsor Star) source from back then:

    "Marie Zeidel said in a telephone interview from Chester, Pa., Friday night that some Boston players had been heckling her husband consistently because he is Jewish, but the clash with Shack had nothing to do with this. 'Larry said that ever since the first game with Boston some of the players were tormenting him, and it got worse as the season progressed,' she said. 'Some of the players were saying they were going to get him. But Larry felt Eddie Shack was not involved. Shack was on him but not about Jewishness.' Mrs. Zeidel said her husband was worked up and tense because of incidents in previous games, and this might have been a factor in the clash with Shack."
     
  20. tarheelhockey

    tarheelhockey Highest Boss

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    I Wiki'ed Spencer to get the story on this, and found the following note about his father's untimely demise:

    I guess we know where he got his anger management issues. :(
     
  21. therealkoho

    therealkoho Gary says it's A-OK

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  22. TheMoreYouKnow

    TheMoreYouKnow Registered User

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    1982, a good year for hockey craziness. That incident occurred only a month or so after Harry Neale and a few Canucks players pulled a Ron Artest and battled Nordiques fans in the stands.
     
  23. LeBlondeDemon10

    LeBlondeDemon10 BlindLemon Haystacks

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    One guy I would never want to piss off was Wendel Clark. He could pummel you with his fists or catch you with your head down. Strong as a bull too. Never saw him do anything really dirty, but he didn't need to.
     
  24. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    To be fair, that series is almost something of an abberation. Rod Gilbert got into a fight! Rod didn't fight. This was the Cold War and the Russians were hated and especially in Game 1 after Canada got embarassed. Esposito you can forgive for that.

    But international play isn't off the hook for dirty play. Even in Game 3 of the 1996 World Cup Canada and USA had seen enough of each other and there were two brutal stick incidents. Lindros whacked Tkachuk on the back of his neck with his stick and Tkachuk later in the period broke his stick over Adam Foote's shoulder in which he got thrown out of the game. And they say that a best of three doesn't build up anger? The World Cup is played better that way
     

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