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After Gretzky got hit!

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11-02-2012, 07:44 PM
  #1
Scott1980
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After Gretzky got hit!

So we've all seen Gretzky getting nailed by McCreary, eh?

He's a vid from the game (1/3/81)

5 Things strike me:

1) No one goes after McCreary. Okay, there's a little bench jocking, but that's it!

2) The commentators mention it's Billy's second NHL game, that could mean only one thing!

3) It that Ron Ellis on the ice at one point? I thought he retired very early in 79/80, not by January!

4) That McCreary hit isn't the only abuse Wayne takes. I'm beginning to believe I've been lied to about Gretzky getting free passes!

5) Who is the Leaf goaltender, I know they used 5, any idea who?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBVVYPEFDjc&feature=plcp


Last edited by Scott1980: 11-02-2012 at 07:45 PM. Reason: 5 not 2
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Old
11-02-2012, 07:50 PM
  #2
TheDevilMadeMe
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Paul Coffey's half-face scruff is hilarious

And wow, what a clutch and grab job on Gretzky at 4:40 even before the big hit.


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 11-02-2012 at 08:01 PM.
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11-02-2012, 10:41 PM
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Big Phil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott1980 View Post
So we've all seen Gretzky getting nailed by McCreary, eh?

He's a vid from the game (1/3/81)

5 Things strike me:

1) No one goes after McCreary. Okay, there's a little bench jocking, but that's it!

2) The commentators mention it's Billy's second NHL game, that could mean only one thing!

3) It that Ron Ellis on the ice at one point? I thought he retired very early in 79/80, not by January!

4) That McCreary hit isn't the only abuse Wayne takes. I'm beginning to believe I've been lied to about Gretzky getting free passes!

5) Who is the Leaf goaltender, I know they used 5, any idea who?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBVVYPEFDjc&feature=plcp
I don't know why no one goes after McCreary. It was a clean hit. Gretzky had his head down and he knew it. It didn't happen often with him. It isn't as if it was a requirement to fight him. And yes, this was NOT McCreary's last game as the legend goes. That might be Ellis on the ice. He retired in 1981. I couldn't find the part of the video though.

Not sure who the Leaf goalie is in that game. Yes Gretzky could take some abuse at times. Let's hope you are one of the people that starts to realize this imaginary rule of not touching Gretzky just didn't exist. He was generally just too smart to get hit, that's all.

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11-02-2012, 10:49 PM
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LeBlondeDemon10
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THSP says the goalie is Vincent Tremblay.

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11-03-2012, 04:00 AM
  #5
Theokritos
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Quote:
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1) I don't know why no one goes after McCreary. 2) It was a clean hit.
Maybe 1) is because of 2)? Different mentality back then?

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11-03-2012, 08:53 AM
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reckoning
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It was mentioned in one of the Toronto papers covering the game that Crozier kept McCreary on the bench for the rest of the game because he was worried that Semenko would attack him.

Somehow over the years that got exaggerated into this myth about how McCreary "never played another shift in the NHL". In truth, he played a few more games with the Leafs, then was sent back to the minors after Toronto acquired Rene Robert from Colorado.

There's been hundreds of players over the years who were career minor-leaguers, except for one brief stint in the NHL. McCreary was one of them. No conspiracy.

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11-03-2012, 11:06 AM
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Mayor Bee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reckoning View Post
It was mentioned in one of the Toronto papers covering the game that Crozier kept McCreary on the bench for the rest of the game because he was worried that Semenko would attack him.

Somehow over the years that got exaggerated into this myth about how McCreary "never played another shift in the NHL". In truth, he played a few more games with the Leafs, then was sent back to the minors after Toronto acquired Rene Robert from Colorado.

There's been hundreds of players over the years who were career minor-leaguers, except for one brief stint in the NHL. McCreary was one of them. No conspiracy.
Assuming that McCreary was kept on the bench the rest of the game, it still doesn't explain this. Edmonton and Toronto met again on January 14, with McCreary in the lineup, and the only fight was between Mark Messier and Greg Hotham...late in the 2nd period.

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11-03-2012, 11:45 AM
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Big Phil
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Originally Posted by Theokritos View Post
Maybe 1) is because of 2)? Different mentality back then?
Possibly.

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11-03-2012, 01:12 PM
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Saku11
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What a dumb thought that one player would have gotten special treatment from the players.Never happened.

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11-03-2012, 01:40 PM
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reckoning
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
Assuming that McCreary was kept on the bench the rest of the game, it still doesn't explain this. Edmonton and Toronto met again on January 14, with McCreary in the lineup, and the only fight was between Mark Messier and Greg Hotham...late in the 2nd period.
Who knows? Maybe time had passed and tempers had cooled down (after all, it was a clean hit), or maybe it was because Edmonton was starting to play better and wanted to concentrate on winning. Plus, the media wasn't instigating things by playing it up as a revenge encounter the way they did with Bertuzzi/Moore.

Here's a quote from the Globe and Mail on Jan 5/81:

"While he lay on the ice, the rest of the Oilers led by Dave Semenko, tried in vain to get at McCreary. There was one more shift in the game for the McCreary line, but Leafs coach Joe Crozier held him back. 'I'd like to have seen Joe put him on the ice again' said Glen Sather, 'Then we'd have seen how tough he is.'"

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11-03-2012, 03:09 PM
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tarheelhockey
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"Career minor leaguer lays out star player, coach keeps him on the bench for his final shift. Next game, everyone has moved on already and the scrub is back in the minors before long."

Nothing about this story is even noteworthy. It's only when you insert "Wayne Gretzky" and "Bill McCreary" that it becomes a memorable incident. If this happened between Jean Beliveau and Stu McNeill, it would be totally forgotten.

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11-03-2012, 03:47 PM
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Rhiessan71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post

And wow, what a clutch and grab job on Gretzky at 4:40 even before the big hit.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Let's hope you are one of the people that starts to realize this imaginary rule of not touching Gretzky just didn't exist. He was generally just too smart to get hit, that's all.
Dispel two myths.
That you weren't allowed to hit him and that he had all this open ice to operate in.

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11-03-2012, 04:04 PM
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Big Phil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
"Career minor leaguer lays out star player, coach keeps him on the bench for his final shift. Next game, everyone has moved on already and the scrub is back in the minors before long."

Nothing about this story is even noteworthy. It's only when you insert "Wayne Gretzky" and "Bill McCreary" that it becomes a memorable incident. If this happened between Jean Beliveau and Stu McNeill, it would be totally forgotten.
Lots of "scrubs" have laid out star players and never amounted to anything. Francois Leroux was about as big as a house and his hit (probably an elbow) on Lafontaine more or less ended his career. Bob Dill intentionally went after Maurice Richard although Richard knocked him out cold. Dill was a career minor leaguer. Most of these guys just weren't good players, that's all.

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11-04-2012, 01:55 AM
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tarheelhockey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Lots of "scrubs" have laid out star players and never amounted to anything. Francois Leroux was about as big as a house and his hit (probably an elbow) on Lafontaine more or less ended his career. Bob Dill intentionally went after Maurice Richard although Richard knocked him out cold. Dill was a career minor leaguer. Most of these guys just weren't good players, that's all.
That's exactly my point. People actually know who Bill McCreary is, and I bet that has a lot to do with the staying power of this urban legend. Otherwise it's just something that happened in a game one time.

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11-04-2012, 01:30 AM
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
That's exactly my point. People actually know who Bill McCreary is, and I bet that has a lot to do with the staying power of this urban legend. Otherwise it's just something that happened in a game one time.
This urban myth gained traction because of one Donald S. Cherry, who mentioned it as fact on many occasions through the 1980s and 1990s.

And yeah, the notion that people didn't hit Gretzky because of Semenko is ridiculous. People didn't hit Gretzky because he had eyes in the back of his head, was too elusive, and simply never put himself in position to get smoked. He played another 13 years after Semenko was traded from Edmonton, and still nobody was able to hit him.

Only in his last season with the Rangers did he start to get knocked around with a bit more frequency. Probably why he picked that point to retire - just wasn't quick enough to avoid contact the way he had been previously.

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11-04-2012, 09:21 AM
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Bill McCreary played 10 more NHL games after that hit. The hit occurred in his second NHL game.

So, conspiracy theorists, are you suggesting his hit was so bad that he was banished from the league, but not until 4 weeks after the actual hit?

He was a 28 yr old rookie that made it to the show after being a 6th rd draft pick.
In his 12 NHL games, he scored 1 goal, and 1 point, was a -7 and had 4 PIM's.

He wasn't big, he wasn't tough, he wasn't a scorer, he wasn't highly regarded...For a 28 yr old 6th round draft pick, 99 times out of 100 that is the fast track to a career in the minor leagues.

So there is your actual conspiracy:
The NHL conspires to keep guys without any notable skills out of the best league in the world.
Go figure.

I guess it makes for a much better story the other way, but frankly, there is no logic or common sense being applied to that theory.

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11-04-2012, 08:16 PM
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Scott1980
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McCreary was 20 years old at the time of the hit.

And I never thought he never played another game after that hit. Long ago, I'm almost positive I watched that (Jan 3, 1981) game, because apparently there are copies of it going around. I asked the guy who had it about McCreary and he said something like, "He was around for about a month and this was about in the middle, he scored meaningless goals and was sent down. The Leafs might have kept him around longer because a hit like that added to his legend."

I believe the game he scored the goal was televised, as well, plus two other games (I'm not sure he played), Jan 10th vs Phil and Jan 24th vs Har exist. The Leafs DID get Rene Robert on January 30th, but apparently it was after the game, which was again against Harford.

Looking at the Leafs schedule from Jan 3 to Jan 30, the Leafs played 15 games and McCreary got into 11 of those. We know he played on the 30th of December, and then of course the 3rd of January, the 5th of January, 7th, 20th and 30th. So that's half of his games.

There is this book that my mother gave to me for Christmas in 2002. This book has it all for Leafs fans (up until the 2000/01 season). And I remember looking McCreary up and noting that he played again. The book was written by this prolific author who did a book a lot like this, only on Detroit and also, he publishes these yearly books that have the player entry and scores from every game on the previous season. He's one heck of an author. It does have one notorious mistake that I remember finding. One of my favourite Leafs was The Treeman, Mark Laforest. It alleges that HE never played again after 1989/90.

As for television, I believe the game on the 6th was televised, as well as the game on the 10th and the 24th.

Rene Robert WAS aquired by the Leafs on January 30th of that year, the same date of McCreary's last game. I do not believe he played in that game but played in the next game on the 31st against Detroit, with that game televised.

Yeah, btw, I am the person who wrote that blog about Billy. And I see here some are a little iffy of my credibility, but I'm glad at least some believe me!

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