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Most intimidating player to play with

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Old
03-15-2013, 02:02 AM
  #1
LeBlondeDemon10
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Most intimidating player to play with

We've all heard the various stories. Only one I can think of offhand is Messier reaming out Kent Nilsson for poor play in the 87 finals. But I can only imagine being in the dressing room after making a dumb play with The Rocket glaring at you from across the room, Eddie Shore fuming in the corner grinding his stick into sawdust, Bobby Clarke injecting insulin between periods just so he can skate right after your leisurely back checking resulted in a goal or Chris Pronger quietly assessing how he's going to give his own teammate a cheap shot. Of course these are somewhat fictional. I'd like to hear other stories about players that were so intense that they intimidated their own teammates in good or bad ways.

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03-15-2013, 03:27 AM
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kmad
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I've heard Ed Belfour used to verbally berate his backups.

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03-15-2013, 07:10 AM
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Sonny Lamateena
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Messier with Tie Domi.


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03-15-2013, 08:19 AM
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Psycho Papa Joe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jagorim Jarg View Post
I've heard Ed Belfour used to verbally berate his backups.
Other than Hayward, Roy wasn't exactly nice to his backups in Montreal either.

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03-15-2013, 10:48 AM
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When Guy Lafleur had his second retirement (in Quebec), he was interviewed on SRC (French CBC). He told the story of when he first came into the league and how small he felt when he was put on a line with Frank Mahovlich and Henri Richard. And then later Yvan Cournoyer.

And then someone told the story of Guy rooming with Richard on some road trip in his rookie season. Henri drew himself a bath, and Guy told him he had to go to the bathroom before Henri got in the tub. Guy took forever to come out because he jumped in the tub, and Henri was fuming. I guess he eventually got over this intimidating factor.

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03-15-2013, 04:35 PM
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Big Phil
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Belfour is rather well documented. Jeff Hackett is a goalie who felt the wrath of the Eagle.

In an interview I heard Kelly Hrudey say that he was honestly scared of Denis Potvin, although had nothing but nice things to say about him.

A lot has been said about Terry Sawchuk. Maybe he didn't intimidate as much but he's a guy you wonder if he was bipolar or not. It couldn't have been easy being his teammate at times with that type of unpredictibility. After all, fighting with a teammate (Ron Stewart) is what led to his eventual death in the hospital.

Tom Barrasso is a guy who is hard to pin down. Part of you wonders if he is a modern day version of Terry Sawchuk with his personality and the other makes you wonder if he was more or less the product of the media hating him. You hear people talk about how difficult Sawchuk was, but to be honest, from a player's standpoint I don't hear much about Barrasso that way. If Barrasso is anything like the media portrayed him, I could see him being difficult and a loose cannon.

Whenever someone says something about Tim Horton it is always nice, however we all know how strong Tim was and there is an urban legend that Horton got irritated with Dick Duff and held him with one arm outside a hotel window. Maybe the story is true, maybe Tim was joking with him, but either way the last person you want to mess with is a person who can hold you like that.

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03-15-2013, 04:44 PM
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Messier also yelled at Ranford during a scrum in the Oilers' end because he was pretending to be hurt.

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03-15-2013, 04:45 PM
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I think the most intimidating would be Sidney Crosby.

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03-15-2013, 04:55 PM
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LeBlondeDemon10
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Quote:
A lot has been said about Terry Sawchuk. Maybe he didn't intimidate as much but he's a guy you wonder if he was bipolar or not.
I just finished reading Sawchuk's biography by Dennis Dupres and it is quite possible he was bipolar or had some kind of psychological disorder. However, I was amazed at how much stress those goalies in the 06 era were under, especially playing with no masks. Dupres stated that many goalies "nerves" got the best of him and ended up retiring. He also cited Roger Crozier, I think, getting his cheekbone shattered by a shot, only to be stitched up and put back in the net for the rest of the game. Sawchuk had many similar incidents; huge gashes requiring dozens of stitches. That is a tremendous amount of stress to be under and then perform or be demoted. After finishing Dupres' book, I didn't have many kind thoughts about Sawchuk and the way he treated his family. But his behavior is very understandable given the amount of stress he was under, his desire to compete and his love for the game. He did have some good moments with his family too. So I do have a lot of empathy for the goalies of that era.

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03-15-2013, 06:39 PM
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Big Phil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeBlondeDemon10 View Post
I just finished reading Sawchuk's biography by Dennis Dupres and it is quite possible he was bipolar or had some kind of psychological disorder. However, I was amazed at how much stress those goalies in the 06 era were under, especially playing with no masks. Dupres stated that many goalies "nerves" got the best of him and ended up retiring. He also cited Roger Crozier, I think, getting his cheekbone shattered by a shot, only to be stitched up and put back in the net for the rest of the game. Sawchuk had many similar incidents; huge gashes requiring dozens of stitches. That is a tremendous amount of stress to be under and then perform or be demoted. After finishing Dupres' book, I didn't have many kind thoughts about Sawchuk and the way he treated his family. But his behavior is very understandable given the amount of stress he was under, his desire to compete and his love for the game. He did have some good moments with his family too. So I do have a lot of empathy for the goalies of that era.
Yes, very interesting read. I loved it too. Marcel Pronovost was Sawchuk's teammate for his whole career more or less and he says on the back of the book that he thought he knew all about Terry Sawchuk until he read this book.

Yeah, Sawchuk wasn't a very good husband. There was a time when his wife Pat fielded a phone call from a woman who said she was pregnant from Terry. He then took the phone from her, talked privately for a minute and that was the last that was ever known about the baby. Was there hush money, who knows? But it was never brought up. He also had a poor relationship with all of his children. You see a guy like Sawchuk and then someone like Johnny Bower who is the complete opposite. He would have gone through the same issues at that time in the original 6 era (no masks, playing every game, play through daunting injuries). So I think Terry was just a guy who had depression issues from the get go. Gordie Howe said in an interview that for a guy who seemingly had everything he was a very sad individual. Howe played with Sawchuk for what, 15 years?

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03-15-2013, 06:44 PM
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Ziggy Stardust
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Probably doesn't fall in line with most of the players mentioned in here, but I've heard from some Sharks players that they were legitimately afraid of Scott Parker.

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03-15-2013, 06:52 PM
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Crafton
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this thread reminded me of the relationship between Malkin and Neal. i remember reading that Eric Tangradi and Zach Boychuk had to be warned by the coaching staff that both Malkin and Neal frequently yell at each other and at their linemates and that they shouldn't take it personally. it's actually hilarious, but could be intimidating you were playing with them. check out this exchange at the 1:20 mark of this clip:

Neal: hey, you seriously think i should have passed that instead of shoot?
Malkin: why not? i'm open.
Neal: what happens if i score?
Malkin: so.


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03-15-2013, 07:28 PM
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Ziggy Stardust
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That reminds me, Jagr was known to be like that too. Remember him getting into it with Aaron Ward when with the Rangers and also another shouting match with Darius Kasparaitis when with the Pens.

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03-15-2013, 07:32 PM
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I am 41 now but remember Nic Fotiu being the scariest man i ever seen on skates..

Crosby?? I could kick the crap out Crosby easily..

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03-15-2013, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Hawaiinleaf View Post
I am 41 now but remember Nic Fotiu being the scariest man i ever seen on skates..

Crosby?? I could kick the crap out Crosby easily..

I believe you.

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03-15-2013, 08:17 PM
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Hawaiinleaf
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In today's NHL

who is the most intimidating

Chara, maybe Getzlaf..

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03-15-2013, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Hawaiinleaf View Post
In today's NHL

who is the most intimidating

Chara, maybe Getzlaf..

Bettman...

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03-15-2013, 09:17 PM
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Ha,,,

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03-15-2013, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
...urban legend that Horton got irritated with Dick Duff and held him with one arm outside a hotel window. Maybe the story is true, maybe Tim was joking with him...
Sounds plausible. This is a guy who would pickup ice & pop machines in hotels, depositing them in teammates rooms, jammed into elevators, wherever. Called him Clark Kent because of his coke bottle thick horn rimmed glasses, Superhuman strength...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawaiinleaf View Post
In today's NHL who is the most intimidating... Chara, maybe Getzlaf..
Well by "intimidating" are we talking like "Leadership"? As in someone who by example & disposition is intimidating by simply demanding total effort & commands respect? Or is it someone who's intimidating simply because he's a Giant like Chara? I dont know of many hockey players who made it to the pro's who are intimidated by size, in fact quite the opposite. Psych jobs can be intimidating & are often on the smaller side, its like theyve got something to prove, and that can be scary. Schultz of the Flyers was rather intimidating to more than a few, however, he was a lot more hat than cattle. Could be dropped no problem. Marty Mc Sorley riding shotgun for Gretzky? Intimidating simply because of his presence and willingness to dish out should anyone take liberties? Perhaps, but a lot of that stuffs just legend, myth. I dont know. The thought that any NHL player could be "initimidated" at all, doesnt quite compute unless were talking a Coach or GM doing it.

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03-15-2013, 10:32 PM
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Are Ed Belfour and Tom Barasso intimidating, though, or just plain *******s? The thread title, to me, suggests an Yzerman or a Potvin; a guy who was intense and competitive, and who kind of forced his teammates to play better just out of fear of disappointing them.

Messier is the obvious example. There's a lot of variations on the Kent Nilsson story, with the most common being Messier grabbing him by the throat and threatening to send him home 'in a pine box' if he didn't start playing better.

And of course, there's the famous 1990 game four against the Blackhawks. As the legend goes, the Oilers started filtering into the dressing room before the game to find Messier already in full gear, rocking back and forth in his stall like he was in a trance. He then went out and had one of the most scary-dominant games ever.

It should be noted, though, that Messier wasn't all about yelling and scaring players. The Domi video posted above shows that. But Messier was also famous for showing up early for Edmonton training camp, so he could be at the airport to pick up each player, and show the new guys around. He also banned rookie-hazing and rookie dinners in Edmonton and New York.

Back on the subject; there's also a number of stories about players playing badly on Orr's Bruins and then spending the intermissions trying to avoid his angry glare. I imagine that only increased with time as Orr's knees fell apart but he continued to play as hard as anyone.

Jeff Marek has told the story a couple of times of Larry Robinson sitting down next to a young Patrick Roy during the playoffs one time, and saying, 'no more bad ****ing goals' and then just getting up and walking away.

Does Beliveau qualify? I think he does, but in a different way. I doubt any teammate ever wanted to be the guy to let him down. There's the famous story of a player getting traded to the Habs and, after a bad game, throwing his jersey on the floor in disgust. Beliveau picked it up, handed it to him, and told him that the Montreal logo never touches the floor. I doubt that guy ever forgot to hang his jersey up again.

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Old
03-15-2013, 10:40 PM
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LeBlondeDemon10
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Yes, very interesting read. I loved it too. Marcel Pronovost was Sawchuk's teammate for his whole career more or less and he says on the back of the book that he thought he knew all about Terry Sawchuk until he read this book.

Yeah, Sawchuk wasn't a very good husband. There was a time when his wife Pat fielded a phone call from a woman who said she was pregnant from Terry. He then took the phone from her, talked privately for a minute and that was the last that was ever known about the baby. Was there hush money, who knows? But it was never brought up. He also had a poor relationship with all of his children. You see a guy like Sawchuk and then someone like Johnny Bower who is the complete opposite. He would have gone through the same issues at that time in the original 6 era (no masks, playing every game, play through daunting injuries). So I think Terry was just a guy who had depression issues from the get go. Gordie Howe said in an interview that for a guy who seemingly had everything he was a very sad individual. Howe played with Sawchuk for what, 15 years?
Dupres' contention was that Sawchuk never got over the loss of his older brother who died at 17 (Sawchuk 11 at the time). Also, there was the loss of a new born when Sawchuk was about 5. Dupres' stated, and I don't recall how he got this information, that Sawchuk's mother seemed to pull away emotionally from Terry after the death of his older brother. I suppose that losing two children was so hard on Anne Sawchuk that she had to protect herself emotionally, only to the detriment of her two surviving sons. The elder Sawchuk was described as meek and minimally involved emotionally in the household. That is a lot of trauma for a child during the developing years. To not have his parents emotionally available for him during the most critical time in his life, must have left him feeling alone and isolated. I have read that many mental illnesses have developed during the childhood years. It is true that physiologically, a person may be more inclined to develop a mental illness, but a lot of it depends on our family environment during our formidable years. For Terry, this all occurred during an era, including his playing days, when it was considered a weakness to see a shrink and discuss feelings. And I think every poster here knows that the sports world has traditionally not been known to be kind towards players outwardly expressing anything other than bravado and anger. Things have changed and continue to change for the better in this area. Its really too bad for Sawchuk that the help wasn't there for him. Even if the tragic fight with Stewart didn't happen, what was the prognosis for him post hockey career? More drinking, fighting and gambling. I doubt if he would have lived much longer anyway given his past habits.

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Old
03-15-2013, 10:54 PM
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If you're going to be intimidated by a teammate, it is likely to be due to how great they are or how crazy they are. Seems to me that Shore and S. Cleghorn fit that description pretty easily.

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