Every sport has its highlights and moments of glory, but often delivering a balance to this, is a fair share of moments which just shocked the world. These are some of those shocking moments in National Hockey League history.
The Shame of Alan Eagleson
Going from a Hockey Hall of Fame to prison. Alan Eagleson is the name of NHL Players’ Association’s first director. He was a man with significant influence in the league and brought many superstars into the limelight. Names like Darryl Sittler and Bobby Orr were all from Eagleson’s camp. The success of the Summit Series in 1972 was much due to having him as a chief promoter. But Eagleson was greedy and skimmed from sponsorships and stole from both players and clients. After pleading guilty, he was sent to 18 months in prison, kicked from the Hall of Fame as well as the bar as a lawyer.
An Internal Gambling Ring
Right before the 2006 Winter Olympics, a scandal broke loose when police arrived to investigate a gambling ring within the league. It was during the period when Wayne Gretzky still stood serving Team Canada in his position as executive director. The main suspects were none other than Gretzky’s wife, Janet Jones and Rick Tocchet, serving under Gretzky as a coach. Jones got away with no charges ever laid against her. Tocchet was not so lucky. He ended up pleading guilty on charges of conspiracy.
Sometimes aggression gets the upper hand during the heat of the game. During a match riddled with assault in March 2004, Todd Bertuzzi lost control. One punch landed him into controversy and took Steve Moore, playing for Colorado, out of the game forever. Moore ended up with some broken vertebrae and a severe concussion. Moore claimed damages after a guilty plea from Bertuzzi. Finally, the two could settle the matter ten years later in 2014.
Anger at a Different Level
It is 2004, and the Stanley Cup playoffs were just over, and the St. Louis Blues didn’t make it. This was, however, only the start of controversy for the team. Days after the playoffs Mike Danton got arrested. The charge against him was for hiring a hitman. His target was David Frost, his then-agent. Danton served five years in a US prison before being transferred to Canada for another six months before his parole. Later on, the world saw him returning to the ice at Saint Mary’s University. Then in 2010, he played in the national championship for the Huskies.
Taking on the Crowd
Sometimes the aggression runs over towards the spectators. This is what a New York fan learned during a match between the Rangers and the Bruins in 1979 after hanging over the glass and hitting a Bruins player with a program. This caused the already rowdy players to sort out the spectator in the crowd. It was when Mike Milbury whacked the man with his shoe, that police was called in to calm the crowd down. Leading to Milbury and some teammates being suspended.