With his movie star looks, gregarious personality and stellar two-way play, Peter Zezel was a popular player with Mike Keenan’s youthful Philadelphia Flyers teams of the 1980s. Later, Zezel would go on to earn accolades with the St. Louis Blues and would help lead the Toronto Maple Leafs to their best post-season performances in the modern era.
But despite this success, Zezel’s legacy will always be his decision to choose humanity over hockey in the face of a cruel betrayal by hockey management. This is the inspirational -- and ultimately heartbreaking -- story of Peter Zezel -- a man whose tremendous talent was surpassed only by his generous soul.
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?