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Which player started the "Canadian hockey" stereotype?

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Old
09-08-2012, 06:08 PM
  #1
I Hate Chris Butler
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Which player started the "Canadian hockey" stereotype?

I'm not much of a hockey historian yet, but the thread on the main board got me thinking. Where did the idea of gritty, mean, two-way play as distinctly Canadian start? I don't know much about superstars that far back, but I can't help but think of Bobby Clarke against the Russians, and specifically Kharlamov.

Was he the one who brought it to prominence with the Broad Street Bullies? Or does it go back further than that to Gordie Howe?

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09-08-2012, 06:32 PM
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1899

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Originally Posted by I Hate Jay Feaster View Post
I'm not much of a hockey historian yet, but the thread on the main board got me thinking. Where did the idea of gritty, mean, two-way play as distinctly Canadian start? I don't know much about superstars that far back, but I can't help but think of Bobby Clarke against the Russians, and specifically Kharlamov.

Was he the one who brought it to prominence with the Broad Street Bullies? Or does it go back further than that to Gordie Howe?
1899 Stanley Cup challenge saw Montreal's Robert MacDougall slash Winnipeg's Tony Gingras similar to Clarke/Kharlamov.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...893.E2.80.9394

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09-08-2012, 06:41 PM
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Sprague Cleghorn
http://habslegends.blogspot.com/2007...-cleghorn.html

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09-08-2012, 06:54 PM
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I think it was more that "hockey players" were always considered gritty, mean, two-way, etc back since before Europe took up the sport. Then Europeans entered the game with a different style and different rule - as C1958 often points out, body checking was not allowed in the offensive zone in Europe until 1969

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09-08-2012, 06:58 PM
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What stereotype are you talking about? A stereotype Canadians have of themselves or a stereotype others have of Canadians?
Obviously others don't develope a stereotype of Canadian hockey players as long as they aren't aware of or don't care for Canadian hockey. On the other hand Canadians don't have a reason to develope a stereotype of themselves as long as they're not confronted with non-Canadian hockey. Before that there were probably stereotypes not referring to Canada, for example: "Those Montrealers are such and such" or "We Quebecois are such and such".
The stereotype of the "Ugly Canadian" was there in Europe long before Bobby Clarke, back in the 1950s. I don't know if it came into existence after WW2 or before though.

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09-08-2012, 07:18 PM
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Iain Fyffe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
1899 Stanley Cup challenge saw Montreal's Robert MacDougall slash Winnipeg's Tony Gingras similar to Clarke/Kharlamov.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...893.E2.80.9394
Clarke slashing Kharlamov is not noteworthy because it was a violent attack that caused injury, it's noteworthy because it is known to have been premeditated and intended to injure. Team Canada was also behind in the series 1-3-1 before game six when the attack occurred.

In 1899, MacDougall slashed Gingras violently and was only given a minor. We don't know if it was premeditated or intentional. MacDougall's team were ahead in the series at the time of the attack, there were only 12 minutes to play in the final game. If MacDougall was trying to incapacitate Gingras surely he would have done it before then.

The circumstances of these incidents are very different. MacDougall certainly didn't have a record of such behaviour, unlike Clarke, and therefore isn't really relevant to the Clarkeian stereotype of Canadian hockey players (ie, do whatever it takes to win, even if that involves intentionally injuring opponents and other forms of cheating).

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09-08-2012, 10:14 PM
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Violent Slash

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Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
Clarke slashing Kharlamov is not noteworthy because it was a violent attack that caused injury, it's noteworthy because it is known to have been premeditated and intended to injure. Team Canada was also behind in the series 1-3-1 before game six when the attack occurred.

In 1899, MacDougall slashed Gingras violently and was only given a minor. We don't know if it was premeditated or intentional. MacDougall's team were ahead in the series at the time of the attack, there were only 12 minutes to play in the final game. If MacDougall was trying to incapacitate Gingras surely he would have done it before then.

The circumstances of these incidents are very different. MacDougall certainly didn't have a record of such behaviour, unlike Clarke, and therefore isn't really relevant to the Clarkeian stereotype of Canadian hockey players (ie, do whatever it takes to win, even if that involves intentionally injuring opponents and other forms of cheating).

A violent slash is always premeditated and intentional since it is not part of a normal hockey play with the stick. If a player has the time to adjust his hold on a stick to administer a violent two-hander, he has shown an intent and premeditation to commit the violent act. It is not an instictive or normal action with a properly held stick in the course of a hockey game.

The timing or circumstance in a game does not matter since there is no established link with violence.

As for MacDougall's previous history, it does not matter to the victim. The injury is the same regardless.

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09-09-2012, 05:42 AM
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These things build over time, but I'd certainly feel comfortable saying that Gordie Howe was a big part of building that stereotype ... was the 'perfect' player - scoring champion, tough as nails, great two-way player, great leader, and class act off the ice. Really defined what a Canadian hockey player was supposed to be.

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09-09-2012, 10:31 AM
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OP, you're looking at it wrong. there was no canadian hockey player from the 30s or 50s who started the stereotype. there was never a moment where people said, "look at eddie shore/gordie howe... what a tough guy. we're all a little like that, right?"

it was created when canada played european teams in competition and beat them on "toughness" or "heart" or intimidation. when the stereotype that europeans were soft and passionless was created, then the inverse stereotype was logically inferred into existence.

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09-09-2012, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MS View Post
These things build over time, but I'd certainly feel comfortable saying that Gordie Howe was a big part of building that stereotype ... was the 'perfect' player - scoring champion, tough as nails, great two-way player, great leader, and class act off the ice. Really defined what a Canadian hockey player was supposed to be.
I have to agree. While I don't really think there was a "stereotype" dating back to Howe's prime, I certainly think he's one of the best/earliest embodiments of it.

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09-09-2012, 12:20 PM
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If anybody created a new image for Canadian hockey players in the 30s-50s, it would be Syl Apps, a respectable skilled athlete in a time when hockey players were often looked at in a similar way as boxers, living on the underbelly.

Anyone who thinks Gordie Howe was the first tough farm boy to gain prominence in the sport, I don't know what to tell you.

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09-09-2012, 12:33 PM
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Sprague, you son of a gun.

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09-09-2012, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
A violent slash is always premeditated and intentional since it is not part of a normal hockey play with the stick.
Wait, so if a player takes a wild swing with his stick at the puck, and happens to contact a nearby player causing an injury, that's exactly the same as intentionally targeting another player? One is reckless and should be avoided because it may cause an unintended injury, while the other is not a hockey play at all because it is solely intended to injure a player.

We can't be sure that MacDougall was not intending to injure, but since we can't be sure, you can't put forward that he was without additional evidence.

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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
The timing or circumstance in a game does not matter since there is no established link with violence.
The timing or circumstance doesn't matter? If Canada was up 5-0 in the series, would Clarke have had to "take out" Kharlamov? They targeted Kharlamov because he was killing them, by Ferguson's admission. They targeted him because they did not think they could win otherwise. In MacDougall's case, his team was already winning; obviously his team could win even with Gingras playing.

Context.

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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
As for MacDougall's previous history, it does not matter to the victim. The injury is the same regardless.
In the context of this discussion, it's not the victim that matters, it's the perpetrator. It's not about an injury, it's about causing an injury intentionally, in order to take out a player who is making it impossible for your team to win.

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09-09-2012, 12:56 PM
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During WC in 1955, year after CCCP won WC for the first time, Zurricher Sport wrote:
It was game of the century, there was everything what ice hockey can offer. Even Canada didn't see a game like this before. Against canadian toughness and experience, there was an opponent armed with hockey sense, brave heart and intelligence - technical team, type of team which probably don't known there in Canada.
This easily proves that this kind of stereotype was created before WWII, maybe even sooner.

Neither Howe nor Clarke are answers. They fed this stereotype, but they certainly weren't an archetype.
My personal guess would be Shore. Cleghorn is good guess too.

OFFTOPIC: William (Bill) Shill is a first player which used slapshot during WC (1954).

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09-09-2012, 01:11 PM
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1920: Antwerps - Olympic games
Canada and USA NTs competed for the first time in Europe.
Game USA vs. Czechoslovakia (CSR):
It was a game where czechoslovaks played well, they were better in stretches. They lose because of their #2 goalie Peka. Experienced Wälzer was injured.
After the game, before teams went into locker rooms, fans booed (in fact they whistled as is common in Europe) team USA because of their malicious and rough game. They applaud to losers, team CSR.

This the first time Canada and USA played in Europe. My sources dont say anything about Canada, but in bigger picture this could set a bar for overseas team.

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09-09-2012, 02:00 PM
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Responsibility

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
Wait, so if a player takes a wild swing with his stick at the puck, and happens to contact a nearby player causing an injury, that's exactly the same as intentionally targeting another player? One is reckless and should be avoided because it may cause an unintended injury, while the other is not a hockey play at all because it is solely intended to injure a player.

We can't be sure that MacDougall was not intending to injure, but since we can't be sure, you can't put forward that he was without additional evidence.


The timing or circumstance doesn't matter? If Canada was up 5-0 in the series, would Clarke have had to "take out" Kharlamov? They targeted Kharlamov because he was killing them, by Ferguson's admission. They targeted him because they did not think they could win otherwise. In MacDougall's case, his team was already winning; obviously his team could win even with Gingras playing.

Context.


In the context of this discussion, it's not the victim that matters, it's the perpetrator. It's not about an injury, it's about causing an injury intentionally, in order to take out a player who is making it impossible for your team to win.
Player has the responsibility to use his stick safely. Taught to all players from the first day they start playing hockey.

Your point reduces to a bogus claim that an injury - saw a broken ankle is less serious if the victim's team is losing - Gingras then if the team was wonning Gingras. In fact the injury remains the same.

The following link to the Feb 22,,1899 Ottawa Citizen - interview with Weldy Young - referee, is very revealing:

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...6598%2C2257397

Note that Robert MacDougall had a history of violence and previously to the 1899 SC was penalized for five minutes for an identical gesture in Winnipeg in a SC final game years previously.

Also note that at no point after the two incidents did Robert MacDougall or his team change their game, offer an apology or contrition of any kind that is recorded in history.

Your theories have no merit.

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09-09-2012, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by begbeee View Post
During WC in 1955, year after CCCP won WC for the first time, Zurricher Sport wrote:
...
This easily proves that this kind of stereotype was created before WWII, maybe even sooner.
How does this account from 10 years after WW2 proof that the stereotype was already around in the 1930s? There was a lot of transatlantic hockey clashes from 1948-1955: enough time to develope a stereotype. During the 1952 Olympics for example the North American teams were critizised by media and fans for their rough play.

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Originally Posted by begbeee View Post
Antwerps - Olympic games
Game USA vs. Czechoslovakia (CSR):
It was a game where czechoslovaks played well, they were better in stretches. They lose because of their #2 goalie Peka.
I have a hard time believing that. They were destroyed 0-16 for Christ's sake!

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Originally Posted by begbeee View Post
After the game, before teams went into locker rooms, fans booed (in fact they whistled as is common in Europe) team USA because of their malicious and rough game. They applaud to losers, team CSR.

This the first time Canada and USA played in Europe. My sources dont say anything about Canada, but in bigger picture this could set a bar for overseas team.
Good find. Seven players of the US Team were actually Canadians with American passports. May I ask what your source is?

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09-09-2012, 05:04 PM
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Amateur / Professional

Quote:
Originally Posted by Theokritos View Post
How does this account from 10 years after WW2 proof that the stereotype was already around in the 1930s? There was a lot of transatlantic hockey clashes from 1948-1955: enough time to develope a stereotype. During the 1952 Olympics for example the North American teams were critizised by media and fans for their rough play.



I have a hard time believing that. They were destroyed 0-16 for Christ's sake!



Good find. Seven players of the US Team were actually Canadians with American passports. May I ask what your source is?
The 1948 dispute involving the two USA teams at the Olympics about the amateur/professional distinction and the continuation of this dispute into the seventies fueled the perception of NA mercenary athletes playing against the genteel sophisticated European sportsmen.

The ultimate irony of all of this is the violence at European soccer matches without NA influence or participation. The racist chanting, the aggressive street and stadium behavior of/towards visiting fans, the resulting deaths.


Last edited by Canadiens1958: 09-09-2012 at 05:05 PM. Reason: typo
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09-09-2012, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theokritos View Post
How does this account from 10 years after WW2 proof that the stereotype was already around in the 1930s? There was a lot of transatlantic hockey clashes from 1948-1955: enough time to develope a stereotype. During the 1952 Olympics for example the North American teams were critizised by media and fans for their rough play.



I have a hard time believing that. They were destroyed 0-16 for Christ's sake!



Good find. Seven players of the US Team were actually Canadians with American passports. May I ask what your source is?
#1 The tone of the article is like there were some similar canadian teams before. Ten years arent many, when talking about creating a stereotype especially ten years after WWII when in fact there wasn't many transatlantic clashes, as you claim. Hockey wasn't globalized back than. Of course I don't know what you mean by "a lot" but I tend to think there werent much more games than those played on WC.
#2-3 I didnt see that game, nor don't know it was 16-0, just refered to what I read. Still CSR and USA had to show something because of post-game action of fans. Even if applaud was for sport effort or whatever, they wouldnt booed USA without reason.
Source is book about WC from 1991 or 1992 or so, really good work with many facts and trivia. Book's research is arguably based on old newspapers, obviously there wasnt much internet in early 1990 in Czechoslovakia. I do believe it's one of the best work about WC till nowadays.

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09-09-2012, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Player has the responsibility to use his stick safely. Taught to all players from the first day they start playing hockey.
No kidding. True, but irrelevant. Again, carelessness is not the same as intentional injury. If you have evidence that MacDougall intended to injure Gingras, please provide it. We do have evidence that Clarke intended to injure Kharlamov.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Your point reduces to a bogus claim that an injury - saw a broken ankle is less serious if the victim's team is losing - Gingras then if the team was wonning Gingras. In fact the injury remains the same.
You're missing the point entirely, the context of the discussion. The discussion is about Clarke, not Kharlamov. Therefore the equivalent discussion would be about McDougall, not Gingras.

My mentioning the status of the series has nothing to do with the seriousness of the injury as you say, it has to do with motive. We know Clarke's motive - as Ferguson said Kharlamov was killing them. Where is MacDougall's motive when his team is 12 minutes away from winning the Stanley Cup?

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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Note that Robert MacDougall had a history of violence and previously to the 1899 SC was penalized for five minutes for an identical gesture in Winnipeg in a SC final game years previously.
So he has previously taken a slashing penalty. That's the same thing as going out to intentionally injure a player, to effecively remove him from competition?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Also note that at no point after the two incidents did Robert MacDougall or his team change their game, offer an apology or contrition of any kind that is recorded in history.
I'd probably agree that they didn't change their game, since slashing penalties weren't really part of their game. If they were, please provide additional examples.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Your theories have no merit.
This is your theory we're discussing, chum. You say the MacDugall/Gingras incident is essentially identical to Clarke/Kharlamov, basically by ignoring the contexts.

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09-09-2012, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I Hate Jay Feaster View Post
Where did the idea of gritty, mean, two-way play as distinctly Canadian start?
That's like asking "Which American started the stereotype of eating apple pie and watching baseball?" I don't think it's drawn from any one individual, rather it's an 'ideal' that we apply retroactively to players who fit the bill.

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09-09-2012, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu View Post
I have to agree. While I don't really think there was a "stereotype" dating back to Howe's prime, I certainly think he's one of the best/earliest embodiments of it.
Yeah, my answer would have to be Gordie Howe. Big, strong player who played a rough game but also very skilled. Pretty much one player I think young Canadian (see: English-speaking white people living in Canada) hockey players identified with and hockey broadcasters looked to as a bar set of what Canadian hockey is.

Although I think Gordie is the embodiment of what many think Canadian hockey should be, I think Richard was just as much as every bit that player before Gordie played. Richard was French and had a much shorter temper and therefore was almost ignored as being this player, even though he was still appreciated as a player.

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09-09-2012, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I Hate Jay Feaster View Post
Was he the one who brought it to prominence with the Broad Street Bullies? Or does it go back further than that to Gordie Howe?
... it goes way way way back, to the games origins in Canada & the northeastern sector of the US, to the first semi professional barnstorming teams sponsored by mining & lumber companies etc. Gambling (Bare Fisted Fighting along with Boxing) was a big part of the culture. With money on the line, "Mercenaries" were widely employed. Guys given jobs at the mines or lumber camps along with "Stitch Money", both given & received, all manner of reward for what today would be considered beyond Neanderthal. Bounties placed on players heads. You name it. These rough n' ready players were put together by even tougher, far more hardcore take no prisoner type early resource, rail & industrialist barons & their superintendents. Sort of Gangs of New York on ice.

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09-09-2012, 06:08 PM
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That's like asking "Which American started the stereotype of eating apple pie and watching baseball?" I don't think it's drawn from any one individual, rather it's an 'ideal' that we apply retroactively to players who fit the bill.
That is NA point of view. In Europe it had to start somewhere. But I agree it was more about teams which played against euro-teams and their tactics than about individual players.
OP probably thought about someone like Clarke, but the bar was set already back then.

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09-09-2012, 06:47 PM
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MacDougall/Gingras

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
No kidding. True, but irrelevant. Again, carelessness is not the same as intentional injury. If you have evidence that MacDougall intended to injure Gingras, please provide it. We do have evidence that Clarke intended to injure Kharlamov.


You're missing the point entirely, the context of the discussion. The discussion is about Clarke, not Kharlamov. Therefore the equivalent discussion would be about McDougall, not Gingras.

My mentioning the status of the series has nothing to do with the seriousness of the injury as you say, it has to do with motive. We know Clarke's motive - as Ferguson said Kharlamov was killing them. Where is MacDougall's motive when his team is 12 minutes away from winning the Stanley Cup?


So he has previously taken a slashing penalty. That's the same thing as going out to intentionally injure a player, to effecively remove him from competition?


I'd probably agree that they didn't change their game, since slashing penalties weren't really part of their game. If they were, please provide additional examples.


This is your theory we're discussing, chum. You say the MacDugall/Gingras incident is essentially identical to Clarke/Kharlamov, basically by ignoring the contexts.
Repeated carelessness without remorse by the player or team speaks for itself especially in the small sample space represented by the SC finals.

MacDougall/Gingras is a stand alone incident that received a fair amount of mention before in the press, in books - Trail of the Stanley Cup Vol I, well before 1972. It was seminal to the perception of Canadian hockey culture, just as the later incidents involving Sprague Cleghorn, Billy Coutu, Shore/Bailey, Conn Smythe, Howe/Fontinato and others helped refine and polish the image. Ferguson and Clarke were nourished by the same hockey culture.

A slash that is not accidental diminishes the victim's ability to play at full capacity. A violent slash just accelerates the effect and result.

If you do not condemn MacDougall's two gestures then there is point to further discussion? Your attempt to introduce a strategic element, winning/losing, is very lame. Simple street fighter code - preclude any possibility of losing as soon as possible, get in the first punch before the fight is started, ignore rules, cheat, survival of the fittest. Do unto others before they do unto you.

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