Violence in hockey is in the news yet again, with the NHL’s recent email leak scandal. In brief, the NHL is being sued over concussion-related negligence, and some emails that have been released as a result of that lawsuit have not reflected kindly on the NHL. That topic has been discussed elsewhere, so we won’t talk about it here. Essentially, the league higher-ups demonstrated a really out-of-date attitude towards violence and head injuries.
This is all compounded by the NHL’s continued lax treatment of violence within the league. Recently, a star player, Duncan Keith, was given only a 6-game suspension for violently swinging his stick into the face of an opponent, his second stick-swinging incident. This sort of thing must sound absolutely bonkers to non-hockey fans.
All of this segues into an opportunity to look at how some of the hockey violence that hits the mainstream news cycle pales in comparison to what happens at the more obscure, minor league levels. Complete with video for each incident, this should be both entertaining and terrifying.
7) Axe Chop:
Story: Working on finding out the source of this and more information. It appears to happen in some sort of Quebec adult league. Almost looks like a Three Stooges skit.
6) Andre Deveaux Assault:
You would think this would have got more attention, with Deveaux being a former Maple Leaf, albeit not a long-tenured one. The “all-of-a-sudden” nature of this one makes it so shocking. Despite that appearance, this was apparently pre-planned, and done in retaliation for a hit in a previous game.
“Prosecutors had considered charging Deveaux after he delivered a two-handed slash to the ankle of defenceman Per Helmersson during the pre-game warm-up of a Swedish professional hockey league game.”
5) Donald Brashear Head Smashing (No, not that one):
Bonus Video Of Him Assaulting Someone Else In Same League:
This is interesting because Brashear is famous for being on the receiving end of NHL violence, a brutal slash to the head from Marty McSorley:
“It started late in what turned into a 7-2 loss. The Trois-Rivières goalie slashed one of Brashear’s teammates, who was fighting someone else, in the back of the leg. Enter Brashear, who began pounding on the goalie with his gloved hands. Another Trois-Rivières player tried to restrain Brashear, but Brashear went after him as well, continuing to hit him after the player fell to the ice. Somewhere in there, he threw a gloved punch at a third player.
Brashear got free and went back after the goalie. Finally, a linesman tackled him. Then both benches emptied in a scene reminiscent of the “Slap Shot” era of the 1970s.”
“It was just like I told you,” a calm Brashear said in the same corridor afterward, “things got out of hand.”
Yes, things got a little out of hand, Donald.
4) That College Kid Who Charged Face-first into the Net After a Game:
“ After everyone cleared the ice following last Friday’s WCHA semifinal loss, and as fans were filing out, [Tyler] Hirsch stayed on, placed a puck at center ice, and skated in alone on an empty net. He got within 10 feet, ripped a slap shot, went into the crossbar and fell head first, with the net, into the end boards. He then skated to center ice, placed his stick on the red line, and left.
Afterwards, [coach] Lucia alluded to personal issues Hirsch was having, and said his status was unclear.”
This one is sad. A college player, who is quite talented but has mental issues, has a breakdown after being told too many times to “crash the net.” He takes the ice after a game and charges as fast as he can into an empty net, slamming into it hard. He only played two games after this before quitting hockey altogether.
3) The Female Russian Player Who Tried to Decapitate an Opponent
Proof that violence is not just a part of the men’s game.
Extra fun because of a very Canadian/Minnesotan woman loudly saying “Oh my gawddd.”
2) Flying Cross-Check to the Face:
The Swedish article names this a horror tackle, and for once it’s not an exaggeration. Watch as a player skates nearly the length of the ice to deliver a flying crosscheck to a player on his knees. Apparently, this was to avenge his brother.
“A minor-pro Swedish player has been given a two-year suspension – which extends throughout all sports in the country – because a brutal cross-check.
Viktor Thomasson, 23, a defenseman for the Nacka HK in Sweden’s second division, was banned Friday by the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation for bolting towards a defenseless opponent and hitting him with his stick.”
“The incident in question happened during a game earlier this month between Nacka HK and Balsta HC. Thomasson’s brother, Daniel, collided at the blueline with Balsta’s Tommy Latouche-Gauvin – a point-per-game forward and former Junior A player from Quebec City – causing Daniel to tumble to the ice. Thomasson was less than thrilled. He skated at full speed from his own blueline to meet Latouche-Gauvin, who was still on his knees, with a diving cross-check to the neck.”
1) Helmet Throw to Face:
Especially fun due to the British play-by-play guy saying “nasty” a lot. Sheer violence, a player stabs his stick into an opponent’s gut, invites the opponent to fight, and then takes off his own helmet and throws it at the opponent’s face.