June 11, 2008

"...one of the most ungentlemanly, sneaky, just plain rotten things I've ever seen...":
On April 11, 1975, the New England Whalers and Minnesota Fighting Saints set a WHA record with a bench clearing brawl that resulted in 217 minutes in penalties. (In a playoff game.) To commemorate the occasion, the Whalers released a 7" single featuring Bob Neumeier & Bill Rasmussen's gleeful blow-by-blow commentary of the fight. The audio is actually kind of amazing.

posted by chicobangs to hockey at 10:31 AM - 8 comments

There were a lot of familiar names in that game, but I gotta admit, listening to this got me to thinking about the WHA heavyweight champeen Steve Durbano, the goon di tutti goons, who apparently drank himself to death a few years back. If you were into large-scale hockey fights and games that ended with no one left on the bench, the later years of the WHA were a bit of a golden age. The hockey itself was varying degrees of terrible, but fans of bloodsport rarely failed to get theirs.

posted by chicobangs at 10:57 AM on June 11, 2008

Awesome stuff -- I'm going to be linking this everywhere I can. Thanks, Chico!

posted by wfrazerjr at 12:34 PM on June 11, 2008

Wow, and after watching the Durbano stuff -- what an idiot.

posted by wfrazerjr at 12:48 PM on June 11, 2008

Some of those names are great. Al Smith, the Whalers goalie, and apparent mauler of the other team's goalie, was one of my coaches with the Vernon Vikings (mites) at the time. I had no idea coach was such a badass! And the Carlson mentioned is, I would guess, one of the two Carlson brothers who played for the Whalers and gained fame as two of the Hansen brothers in Slap Shot. I guess the casting director for that movie knew something about the talent! Wonder what the Howes were doing at the time, seems like it should have been right up Gordie's alley.

posted by tahoemoj at 01:07 PM on June 11, 2008

I have been waiting all day to listen to this. Great stuff, senior bangs.

posted by MrFrisby at 07:32 PM on June 11, 2008

Minnesota Fighting Saints? Now that's nominative determinism.

posted by owlhouse at 08:16 PM on June 11, 2008

Old time hockey? Toe Blake? Eddie Shore? Dit Clapper?

posted by THX-1138 at 09:41 PM on June 11, 2008

Video or it didn't happen. (Okay, so it clearly did... But I'm disappointed some enterprising soul doesn't have YouTube video of that brawl. *runs off to find hockey fight tape and capture it to the computer*)

posted by Drood at 12:00 AM on June 12, 2008

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