The Hockey world hasn’t produced a more fascinating character than WHA and NHL goaltender Gilles “Loony” Gratton.
Gratton never really wanted to be a professional goaltender; he wanted to be a Tibetan monk. And he’d eventually quit hockey to seek enlightenment.
But Gratton’s path from playing big league hockey to finding spiritual wisdom was a raucous one marked by sex, drugs and rock/roll, overshadowing his unique talent that made him one of hockey’s most promising young goaltenders.
Here’s the story of the man behind the iconic goalie mask. The eccentric oddball who hated hockey -- but became one the game’s most memorable characters.
Bill Goldsworthy was the first big star of the Minnesota North Stars franchise. An aggressive winger with a blistering shot, Goldsworthy was a four-time NHL All Star, who danced his way into fans' hearts with his patented “Goldy Shuffle”, which he performed after each of his goals scored on home ice.
But Goldy’s celebrations and aggressiveness didn’t end at the final buzzer. Away from the arena, Goldsworthy’s undisciplined and impulsive behaviour would eventually fracture his family, destroy his career and, ultimately, end his life.
Somewhere between being the celebrated face of a franchise and the unlikely face of a deadly illness, Bill Goldsworthy’s tormented Jekyl and Hyde existence is a cautionary tale of a life lived well over the edge.
This is the untold story of Bill Goldsworthy. His legendary career, his undeniable legacy -- and his deadly demons
Jacques Richard was considered to be one of the greatest players in the history of Quebec junior hockey. In 1972, he was the #2 overall pick in the NHL draft and appeared on the fast track to big league stardom.
But his equiset talent masked a decedent and dangerous personal life that would cause his career to unravel almost before it began.
After a near decade of uninspired play and long stretches in the minor leagues, Richard re-emerged from a haze of alcohol and drug abuse to stage one of the most unlikely and extraordinary comebacks in NHL history.
This is the story of Jacques Richard -- his rise ,,, fall … redemption …. And his ultimate descent into the fiery pits of a personal hell.
Philadelphia Flyers Defenseman Larry “The Rock” Zeidel was called the dirtiest player in hockey -- a vicious soulless maniac who instigated some of the most violent stick swinging attacks in hockey history.
His final act of on-ice mayhem, a gory bloodbath with Boston Bruins forward Eddie Shack, may be the event for which Zeidel is most remembered -- but it was hardly his most egregious offense. In fact, it wasn’t even his most brutal bout with Shack.
But the Larry Zeidel story is more complicated than just a rap sheet of his reckless assaults. By all accounts he was a quiet and well-spoken man off the ice. But what fueled the burning rage -- the unrelenting hatred -- that Zeidel unleashed on bloodied and maimed opponents in a savage 20-year professional hockey career?
Episode 67 of the Pro Hockey Alumni Podcast features New York Islanders Hall of Famer Bob Bourne, whose speed, skill and versatility were key components in the Islanders’ four Stanley Cup wins in the 1980s.
In his 14-year NHL career, Bob scored 30 goals twice and 20 goals three times, was a member of Team Canada in 1984 and was awarded the Masterton Trophy for dedication to hockey in 1987.