Marc Tardif - The Most Underrated Player of the 1970s and the Violent Act He Can Never Forget
Two-time WHA MVP and Montreal Canadiens Stanley Cup winner Marc Tardif is the forgotten star of the 1970s. The WHA’s all-time leading goal scorer and an NHL All Star, Tardif’s magnificent career is certified Hall of Fame worthy.
By the end of the 1975-76, Tardif was the best LW in the game. But Tardif’s career nearly came to a premature end in April 1976 after a violent and senseless attack left him bloodied and severely injured. Eventually, Tardif battled back from the physical pain, managed his emotional trauma and go on to realize his greatest career achievements.
When his playing days ended, the Quebec Nordiques retired his #8 and he’d enjoy great success off the ice. But the nightmares of that horrifying night in 1976 persisted. In order to erase those haunting memories and achieve true peace of mind, Marc Tardif would need to come face to face with the man who nearly ruined his life.
He was a junior hockey superstar – and the #1 selection in the NHL Draft.
But , his NHL dream quickly became a nightmare and he never reached the heights expected of him.
However, his impact on the world and the NHL had little to do with unfulfilled expectations.
Instead, the story of Doug Wickenheiser is a story of a proud and courageous man whose resilience in the face of public failure and grace amidst heartbreaking misfortune left a proud legacy that continues long after his tragic death.
“Doug Wickenheiser was the most courageous human being I’ve ever met.”
– Red Fisher,
Hall of Fame Montreal Gazette Columnist
February 20, 1973
Weeks ago, a general manager of one of the National Hockey League teams had a question.
"What do you think of Marc Tardif?" he asked me,
"He has the credentials to be an excellent hockey player," the g.m, was told.
"That's what I think," he said. "Why aren't they using him?"
"Because he's not using his credentials," was the answer.
"I think he can be happy here," the g.m. said. "We sure could use him. We could use him a lot."
"So could Canadiens," he was told, "but nobody knows for sure if Marc wants to play."
There are others who have asked about Tardif in recent weeks.