Hockey Central
Longest Suspensions
The NHL suspended Vancouver Canucks forward Todd Bertuzzi indefinitely for his sucker-punch on Colorado Avalanche forward Steve Moore on March 8, 2004. Here are some of the longest suspensions handed out by the league:
30 Games: Chris Simon of the New York Islanders, for stomping on the leg of Pittsburgh's Jarko Ruutu in December, 2007. It is the seventh suspension of Simon's NHL career.
25 Games: Jesse Boulerice of the Philadelphia Flyers, for a crosscheck to the face of Vancouver's Ryan Kesler in October, 2007.
23 Games: Marty McSorley, Boston Bruins, for knocking out Vancouver's Donald Brashear with a stick-swinging hit in February 2000.
23 games: Gordie Dwyer, Tampa Bay Lightning, for abusing officials and leaving the penalty box to fight in a pre-season game against the Washington Capitals on Sept. 19, 2000.
21 games: Dale Hunter, Washington, for a blindside check of Pierre Turgeon of the New York Islanders following a Turgeon goal in the 1993 playoffs.
20 games: Tom Lysiak, Chicago Blackhawks, for intentionally tripping a linesman in October 1983.
20 games: Brad May, Phoenix Coyotes, for a slash to the head of Columbus' Steve Heinze.
16 games: Eddie Shore, Boston Bruins, for hitting Toronto's Ace Bailey over the head with his stick in 1933.
15 games
(3 regular season, 12 playoff):
Maurice Richard, Montreal Canadiens, for levelling linesman Cliff Thompson during a scuffle with Boston's Hal Laycoe in March 1955.
15 games: Wilf Paiement, Colorado Rockies, for swinging his stick and hitting Detroit's Dennis Polonich in the face in October 1978.
15 games: Dave Brown, Philadelphia Flyers, for cross-checking Tomas Sandstrom of the N.Y. Rangers across the face and breaking his jaw in November 1987.
15 games: Tony Granato, Los Angeles Kings, for slashing Pittsburgh's Neil Wilkinson in February 1994.
13 games: Wayne Maki, St. Louis Blues, and Ted Green, Boston Bruins, for swinging their sticks at each other in September 1969.
13 games: Andre Roy, Tampa Bay Lightning, for leaving the penalty box and physically abusing an official while trying to engage players in the New York Rangers penalty box in April 2002.
12 games: Brantt Myhres, San Jose Sharks, for leaving the bench to attack Los Angeles' Mattias Norstrom in February 1999.
12 games: Matt Johnson, Los Angeles Kings, for deliberately injuring New York Rangers' Jeff Beukeboom in November 1998.
12 games: Ron Hextall, Philadelphia Flyers, for attacking Montreal's Chris Chelios during a playoff game in May 1989.
12 games: David Shaw, New York Rangers, for high-sticking Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux in October 1988.
11 games: Owen Nolan, San Jose Sharks, for a hit to the head of Grant Marshall of the Dallas Stars in February 2001.
11 games
(3 playoff, 8 regular season):
Tie Domi, Toronto Maple Leafs, for knocking out Scott Niedermayer with an elbow to the head in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals in 2001. Domi was suspended for the balance of the Leafs' post-season and the first eight games of the 2002-03 regular season.
10 games: Jimmy Mann, Winnipeg Jets, for sucker-punching Pittsburgh's Paul Gardner in January 1982.
10 games: Ruslan Salei, Anaheim Mighty Ducks, for hitting Dallas' Mike Modano from behind in October 1999.
10 games: Scott Niedermayer, New Jersey Devils, for hitting Florida's Peter Worrell in the head with his stick in March 2000.
Indepth: The Bertuzzi Incident
10 Hockey Violence Lowlights
In the wake of the Todd Bertuzzi's attack on Steve Moore, below is compiled a list of 10 of the most noteworthy and memorable acts of hockey goonery, including:
  1. Retaliatory hit begets All-Star Game
  2. "Rocket" Richard's tomahawk & the ensuing riot
  3. Wayne Maki fractures Ted Green's skull
  4. Bobby Clarke's Summit Series chop
  5. Maloney crowns Glennie; crown sticks it to Maloney
  6. The night the lights went out
  7. Hunter ends Turgeon's playoff run
  8. Jeff Kugel runs wild in OHL game
  9. Gary Suter ruins Paul Kariya's Olympics
  10. The Marty McSorley trial
1. Retaliatory hit begets All-Star Game
Boston Bruins defenceman Eddie Shore was considered one of the roughest players of his era. On Dec. 12, 1933, in a game versus the Leafs, Toronto's King Clancy stood up Shore at the blue line as he was rushing up the ice with the puck. No penalty was called.
An irate Shore exacted revenge by slamming into Leaf winger Ace Bailey with a vicious hit from behind, sending the future Hall of Famer crashing headlong into the ice.
Bailey suffered a fractured skull – onlookers said it sounded like a watermelon hitting pavement – and never played again. A benefit game held the next year in his honour morphed into what is now the NHL All-Star Game.
2. "Rocket" Richard's tomahawk & the ensuing riot
The longtime Hab set the standard for snipers with an eight-point game in 1944. Few can forget his 14 all-star selections or his 1961 Hall of Fame induction. But the fiery "Rocket" Richard may best be known for the riot he sparked.
Rocket Richard
It stemmed from a March 13, 1955, game in which Richard was given a match penalty for deliberately injuring Hal Laycoe - tomahawking him over the head with his stick – and punching linesman Cliff Thompson. Richard was later suspended for the rest of the season, causing an uproar amongst Habs fans, given Richard was leading the NHL in scoring and his team was battling for first place.
The following season, NHL president Clarence Campbell was pelted with eggs while attending a game between the Canadiens and Detroit at the Montreal Forum. The game was forfeited and the arena evacuated due to an out-of-control crowd that took to the streets. A riot ensued, causing $500,000 in damage.
3. Wayne Maki fractures Ted Green's skull
Imagine the worst stick-swinging incident of the modern NHL era, complete with heavy wooden sticks and helmets nowhere in sight.
Voila, you have St. Louis' Wayne Maki opposite "Terrible" Ted Green of the Boston Bruins, circa 1969-70 in Ottawa.
In the midst of a pre-season game, Maki knocked Green down from behind. The latter retaliated by slashing Maki, who hit the ice. Maki speared Green, who again sent Maki flying. The pair soon exchanged vicious slashes until Maki clubbed Green over the head, fracturing his skull.
Green needed three major operations to save his life and had a steel plate inserted in his head. Maki was suspended for 30 days and Green for 12 games when he returned to action one year later. Assault charges were filed against both players, who were later acquitted.
4. Bobby Clarke's Summit Series chop
While most incidents of on-ice violence are met with shock and disciplinary action, Bobby Clarke's slash on Soviet superstar Valeri Kharlamov's ankle has been lauded in some hockey circles as an act of heroism.
Bobby Clarke during
the '72 Summit Series.
While most incidents of on-ice violence are met with shock and disciplinary action, Bobby Clarke's slash on Soviet superstar Valeri Kharlamov's ankle has been lauded in some hockey circles as an act of heroism.
With Canada trailing in the legendary series 3-1-1 and in a dogfight in Game Six, Clarke, at the encouragement of assistant coach John Ferguson, delivered a brutal two-hand slash to Kharlamov's sore ankle. The attack proved to be the turning point in the emotionally-charged matchup.
Kharlamov, the Soviets' most skillful player, was never the same after the hack, and the Canadians rallied for a series victory. When asked about the incident years later Clarke said: "If I hadn't learned to lay on a two-hander once in a while, I'd never have left Flin Flon." The attack also cemented Canadian hockey players' reputation as thugs who won games through intimidation and violence rather than skill and finesse.
5. Maloney crowns Glennie; crown sticks it to Maloney
Dan Maloney's NHL resume includes a Stanley Cup appearance, all-star selection nd three 20-plus goal seasons. Oh yeah, an assault charge as well.
The former Detroit Red Wings left-winger was involved in an on-ice attack against Toronto's Brian Glennie on Nov. 5, 1975. Glennie's skull met Maloney's stick tomahawk-style, and it was lights-out for the Leaf. The incident made further headlines when Ontario crown attorney Roy McMurtry became involved and made the charge against Maloney.
Glennie was put on the stand, but it didn't matter much. "When I testified, I said very little," he joked later. "How could I? I was out cold at the time."
In exchange for a no-contest plea, Maloney did community service work. He also was banned from playing in Toronto for two seasons. Maloney finished his playing career with the Leafs in the early 1980s before embarking on a coaching career with the club.
6. The night the lights went out at world juniors
There have been plenty of modern-day brawls in hockey, but none have come close to the impact of the 1987 world junior championship game.
Canada was in contention for the gold medal and leading Russia 4-2 in the final game of the tournament … until a bench-clearing brawl erupted. The ice was covered in helmets and gloves, and pairs of skaters – goalies included – engaged in an orgy of rock-em sock-em blows.
When officials failed to get control of the melee, they shut off the lights at the arena. The players continued to fight in the dark, and organizers cancelled the game. Both teams were eventually disqualified.
Some Canadians were proud of the squad (Don Cherry, for one), while others were ashamed of the reputation it gave our national pastime.
7. Hunter ends Turgeon's playoff run
Dale Hunter could hurt an opposing team on more than just on the score sheet. The winger was never one to shy away from the dirty side of hockey. When he retired from the game in March 2000, he was the only player in NHL history to record more than 300 goals and 1,000 points while still recording over 3,000 penalty minutes.
Dale Hunter
But his brutal crosscheck on New York Islanders forward Pierre Turgeon in an April 1993 playoff game was a black mark on his career. After Turgeon scored a playoff series-clinching goal, Hunter came in from behind and nailed the Islanders forward into the sideboards, separating Turgeon's shoulder. Hunter, then with the Washington Capitals, was given a then-NHL-record 21-game suspension. Turgeon missed six weeks of action and his Islanders exited during the conference finals.
8. Jeff Kugel runs wild in OHL game
It was like a scene straight out of World Wrestling Entertainment.
A junior-hockey enforcer leaves the bench to join a brawl, sucker-punches an opponent from behind, straightens his arms while standing over him, works the crowd, chases away another player already involved in a fight, works the crowd again and throws his arms wildly like a crazed lunatic, challenging players, fans and all comers.
On Nov. 2, 1998, Jeff Kugel was handed a 25-game suspension for attacking Juri Golicic, as well as a lifetime ban from the Ontario Hockey League as a result of the incident that occurred a month earlier between the Windsor Spitfires and the Owen Sound Platers.
OHL commissioner David Branch softened his hardline stance on Kugel's punishment following a lengthy appeal, saying the then-18-year-old could apply for reinstatement at the end of the season.
Windsor later waived the six-foot-seven-inch, 265-pound Kugel, who went on to play two games for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in 1999-2000 and four contests that same season with the Flint Generals of the United Hockey League.
9. Gary Suter ruins Paul Kariya's Olympics
The 1998 Nagano Games was supposed to be THE Olympics for the Canadian men's hockey team … until Gary Suter gave Paul Kariya some free dental work.
Gary Suter
In a Feb. 1 NHL game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim, Kariya scored for the Mighty Ducks and then was brutally cross-checked upside the head by Suter.
Interestingly, Vancouver Canucks GM Brian Burke was the NHL vice-president at the time and slapped Suter with a huge (for the time) four-game suspension for the obvious cheap shot.
Kariya missed the Olympics and the rest of the season with post-concussion syndrome. He returned eight months later but saw his production fall from 100 points in 1998-99 to 57 in 2001-02. Some say Kariya has never been the same player since the hit.
10. The Marty McSorley trial
Perhaps no other incident resonated in and out of hockey circles than Marty McSorley-Donald Brashear incident of February 2000.
McSorley, in the dying seconds of a game between his Boston Bruins and Brashear's Vancouver Canucks, slashed the side of Brashear's head with his stick. When the blow was struck, Brashear fell backwards and slammed his head against the ice. Brashear, who had no memory of the incident, suffered a severe concussion.
Outrage ensued and McSorley, who was suspended for 23 games, found himself on trial for assault with a weapon that October. The aging enforcer, who could have received an 18-month jail sentence, was handed an 18-month conditional discharge. The only stipulation was that he couldn't play any sport where Brashear was on the opposing team.
However, that condition really didn't matter anyway. The 17-year NHL enforcer, with two Stanley Cups to his name, never played another NHL game.