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01 Jan 2019

Worst Hockey Injuries of All Time

 

The worst hockey injury of all time occurred in the stands. Brittanie Cecil was only 13 years old when a puck deflected upward in the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio in 2002. It struck her in the left temple while watching a game that her father got her tickets to as an early birthday present. The incident caused all rinks to add mandatory netting behind both goals.

Here are some of the other worst hockey injuries of all time.

#1. Bill Masterton

Masterton took a hit from Ron Harris and Larry Cahan during a sequence on the ice, which caused him to fall backward and hit his head on the surface. He never fully regained consciousness after the hit. He would die 30 hours later at the hospital, with some accounts saying he was awake enough to say, “Never again. Never again.” His name is now on the trophy which awards sportsmanship and perseverance.

#2. Clint Malarchuk

Malarchuk got tangled up with Steve Tuttle of the St. Louis Blues in front of the net. Then both men fell on top of the keeper. One of the skates nicked Malarchuk’s jugular vein and severed the carotid artery. After emergency surgery, he would return to the ice just 10 days later. After retiring, Malarchuk admitted that he also survived a suicide attempt due to the PTSD he suffered from this incident. 

#3. Steve Moore

Moore had his career ended in 2004 when Todd Bertuzzi grabbed him from behind, threw a sucker punch, and then drove him into the ice. He stayed there for 10 minutes before being stretchered off with a concussion and three broken vertebrae. Bertuzzi was charged with criminal assault for his actions during the game, which resulted in a guilty plea. Both sides reached an agreement in a civil suit in 2014 to settle the matter.

#4. Bryan Berard

Berard took a stick to his right eye from Marian Hossa in 2000. It caused him to drop to the ice immediately, with blood pooling out of his face. The orbital bone had been fractured, his cornea cut, and the retina detached. It took 7 operations to save the eye. Doctors gave him a special lens to wear during games that allowed him to continue with his career.

#5. Howie Morenz

It was a 1937 game between the Canadiens and the Black Hawks where Morenz lost his balance. He fell to the ice, then crashed leg-first into the boards. His left skate caught in the slide as well, with pursuing defender Earl Seibert then landing on top of him. The injury would fracture his leg in four places, ending Morenz’s career.

#6. Ted Green

It was an exhibition game where Wayne Maki and Green began swinging their sticks at each other. Maki caught him in the head, which caused a fractured skull and left Green temporarily paralyzed. Green would return the next year with a metal plate in his head, leading his team to a Stanley Cup win in 1972.

There have been many other brutal injuries suffered during hockey games. What are the worst ones that you feel should have made this list?

03 Nov 2018

7 Coolest NHL Logos of All Time

 

There are three elements of a sports franchise which make it a memorable experience for fans: the players, the stadium, and the logo.

With over 100 years of competition, the NHL has seen some incredibly cool logos come and go – while some have continued to stick around. Here are the ones that we think are the best. 

#1. Hartford Whalers

Before they moved to Carolina to become the Hurricanes, the logo for this franchise featured a green “W” with the tail of a while on top. Then there was the “H” for Hartford located within the white space between these two design elements. It was officially retired following the 1996-97 season.

#2. Toronto Maple Leafs

The iconic white-and-blue of this logo has taken on many forms since it was first introduced in the 1927 season. It offers a current version with 31 points, representing the year that their stadium first opened. Then the 13 veins in the leaf represent the number of Stanley Cups the franchise has earned in their history.

#3. Detroit Red Wings

This logo is one of the longest-lasting visual images of the NHL. It was first created in the 1932-33 season, but it has not received an update since 1948. The inspiration came from the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association, who won the first Stanley Cup in 1892. James Norris purchased the Detroit Falcons in 1932 and brought the logo over.

#4. Chicago Blackhawks

This NHL franchise has the most controversial logo on this list. It was originally designed by Irene Castle, who was the wife of the franchise owner, and has been on display since 1926. The team dropped the circle around the logo in the 1950s, and has worn the current version for almost 60 years.

#5. Hamilton Tigers

Although they only played five seasons in the NHL, they had three different logos. Their best once came out in 1921, featuring the face of a tiger on the sweater. Since the patches were made by hand, the work was time-intensive and expensive, so they kept the look for a single season only.

#6. Quebec Nordiques

The logo for this NHL franchise pre-dated their entry into the league. Featuring a lower-case “n” with a red hockey stick and a blue puck to the side, the shape formed an igloo when the elements were put together. This image stayed with the team until they became the Colorado Avalanche in 1995.

#7. Pittsburgh Pirates

Most people don’t remember that there was a hockey team in this city 40 years before the Penguins arrived in 1967. They took the name of the local baseball team, adopting a black-and-gold logo that featured the face of a pirate – eyepatch, mustache, and everything. They only stayed one season, becoming the Philadelphia Quakers next, but that logo is still a classic.

Several iconic logos have come and gone throughout the years in the NHL. Some of them have even made a comeback in recent years, like the Anaheim Ducks and their hockey mask with crossed sticks. What are some of your favorite images from the National Hockey League? 

12 Oct 2018

6 Most Violent Enforcers in NHL History

 

You won’t find a tougher professional athlete than the hockey enforcer.

There are big rugby players and football safeties who dish out crunching hits, but that’s only one part of the job description for the enforcer. They must also take shots to the body, throw off the gloves when necessary, and dish out nasty punch to protect their teammates.

Anyone can take a penalty. These are the players who pushed through everything to become the toughest guys that anyone ever knew.

#1. Gordie Howe

Mr. Hockey wasn’t a proactive fighter on the ice, although he was willing to throw down if it became necessary. He used grit, durability, and strength to become one of the best goal-scorers of his era. Howe continued to play professionally until the age of 51, with most of his time spent with the Red Wings. He’s also the only player in NHL history to play in a game in five different decades.

#2. Scott Stevens

Even though Stevens played over 1,600 games in his career, it was a Game 7 check in the 1999-2000 season that everyone remembers. Eric Lindros was skating in on a turnover, and he just took him out. This enforcer also managed to win three Stanley Cups over his career while leaving behind hits that would keep people down.

#3. Rob Blake

During his two-decade career, Blake was one of the best two-way defensemen in the NHL. He would also put up a lot of penalty minutes, serving over 1,600 of them during his 1,270 games. Rob was always ready for the big hit, which is why his defensive stick was so dominant. He won the 1993 Norris Trophy, then earned his way into the hockey hall of fame in 2014.

#4. Bobby Orr

Although he would serve almost 1,000 penalty minutes during his career, he wasn’t much of a fighter on the ice. He would win eight Norris trophies before being forced to retire early because of the injuries he suffered. The goal that he scored in overtime to win the Stanley Cup for the Bruins would become one of the most iconic sports photographs in history.

#5. Donald Brashear

With over 2,600 penalty minutes to his name, Brashear was always one of the most violent enforcers during his era. He took part in the most penalized game in history too, when Ottawa and his Flyers combined for 419 penalty minutes. At 6’3” and almost 240 pounds, this fellow was one you didn’t want to mess with on the ice.

#6. Chris Pronger

Pronger was often the biggest guy on the ice, so his 6’6” frame made him the perfect enforcer in the NHL. He wasn’t afraid to throw his weight around, earning two suspensions in the same playoff year. Throughout his career, he would end up with eight separate suspensions.

Everyone who plays professional hockey will get into a scrap or two over their career. These enforcers were unafraid to make contact when needed. Who were your favorite players that were always willing to throw down? 

03 Sep 2018

6 Best Players Not in the Hockey Hall of Fame

 

There are plenty of former players who deserve to be inducted into the hockey hall of fame in 2019 and beyond. It is a unique honor because men and women both achieve enshrinement equally.

Hayley Wickenheiser will definitely make her way into the 2019 induction ceremony. She is a 7-time world champion and 4-time Olympic gold medalist.

Here are the other players who should receive their nomination as well for their play on the ice.

#1. Daniel Alfredsson

He won the Calder Trophy, scored 444 goals during his career, and accumulated 1,157 points. Although he only finished in the top 5 for the Hart Trophy once in his career, his consistency deserves to be acknowledged. He’s also won a gold and silver medal at the Olympics, scoring 27 points for Sweden. 

#2. Sergei Zubov

Zubov won a Stanley Cup with the Stars and the Rangers. He earned a gold medal with Russia during the 1992 Olympics. Although he never really had any individual recognition, his points-per-game average of 0.72 puts up a strong argument for enshrinement.

#3. Sergei Gonchar

He never earned a Norris Trophy during his career, though he finished in the top five a total of four times. Gonchar won a Stanley Cup with the Penguins as well, totaling 811 points with a total six teams. He’s also won silver and bronze at the world championships and the Olympics. The numbers are there, but without the individual hardware? It might be a tough call to put him in there.

#4. Dan Boyle

The Florida Panthers signed him after he went undrafted. Then he was shipped to Tampa Bay after three seasons for a fifth-round pick. He would go on to finish fourth in points for defensemen between 1998-2018, win a Stanley Cup in 2004, and lead Canada to an Olympic gold medal in 2010.

#5. Alexander Mogilny

He played 990 games in the NHL, accumulating a total of 1,032 points throughout his career. Mogilny even scored 76 goals in a season once. There is also the fact that his defection from Russia to be in the NHL was a league-first that makes him a compelling case for induction, although no hall of fame has ever voted in two players from his country with the same class.

#6. Jeremy Roenick

Roenick is another one of those players who was always consistent, fierce to play against and never earned individual glory. He did have 1,216 total points (including 513 goals), but there were a lot of other great centers that took the ice during his time. If he has some advocates on the committee, then he should get in. If not, then the lack of a Stanley Cup might come back to haunt him.

Many other great hockey legends deserve enshrinement in the hall of fame, like Vincent Lecavalier, Patrik Elias, Brad Richards, and Doug Wilson. Who do you think should be inducted into the hockey HOF in 2019?