April 28, 2020

Unreal NHL Cheap Shots and their aftermaths

Todd Bertuzzi cheap shots Steve Moore (Fox Sports)

The NHL has done a decent job over the years limiting and controlling cheap shots. I’m not talking about illegal hits to head, or dangerous hits from behind, because there’s plenty of work to do there. A cheap shot is an intentional dirty play and here’s a few of the worst I’ve ever seen.

Domi sucker punches Samuelsson

Ulf Samuelsson had a reputation for being a dirty and mouthy player long before he became a Ranger. Still, in 1995 former Blueshirt enforcer Tie Domi took matters into his own hands after Samuelsson hooked him near his face and added a verbal jab. Ulf was known to play it that way but didn’t like answering for it with his fists, that’s when Domi answered it for him.

I’ve seen plenty of sucker punches, but they usually have the gloves on and don’t come from one of the game’s hardest punchers. It earned Domi 8 games and as the Rangers coach Colin Campbell put it, “a loss of respect”.

“Everyone knows Ulf’s a dirty player, and he prides himself on playing hard. So does Tie. It was a bad move on Tie’s part, but I’m low on goal sticks and I didn’t want to lose that one (by breaking it) on Tie’s head.”

Mike Richter

The Cheap Shot Artist, Dale Hunter

Dale Hunter was one of the game’s hard-nosed players. He was a nightmare to play against because he was also good with 1020 points over his career. However, in the 1993 playoffs, as the Capitals were on the verge of elimination he decided to blindside a celebrating Pierre Turgeon and earned a 21 game suspension. It remains one of the definitive cheap shots of all-time.

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McSorley’s Dirty Stick Swing

In the 2000 season, Marty McSorley was already on a steep decline and battered with injuries. Still, he was doing what the Bruins paid him for and that was to drop the gloves. He was a tough guy that protected the likes of Wayne Gretzky in LA for years, but he will forever be known for this vicious shot. Marty didn’t play again that season, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and found guilty. He did 18 months probation and was suspended for a year.

The Worst Incident in Hockey History

This is the mother of all cheap shots that I have ever seen. Todd Bertuzzi who was furious with the Steve Moore for a hit to a prone Markus Naslund, assaulted the unexpecting agitator. It’s one of the most gut wrenching attacks in hockey history as Bertuzzi sucker punches Moore from behind and knocks him out. To make matters worse, he drives the unconscious Moore face first into the ice.

Bertuzzi was suspended for the rest of the 2003-2004 season and playoffs. It took over 10 years, but Steven Moore, whose career was basically never the same, was awarded a multi-million dollar lawsuit.

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