“Wild” Willie Trognitz once committed an act so violent he received a lifetime ban from a pro hockey league. But in the 1970s that act of mayhem would earn him a promotion AND a major league hockey contract.
He couldn’t skate or stickhandle well, but these skills weren’t necessary for Willie to succeed. In hockey’s goon era, his mighty and mangled fists were all he needed to achieve his hockey dreams.
But a much more meaningful achievement would come later in life when Willie was honored as a Canadian hero for an extraordinary act of courage.
This is the incredible story of Wild Willie Trognitz – a tale of bloodshed, intimidation and the eventual redemption of one of hockey’s most notorious enforcers.
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
Podcast #64 - Allan Globensky: A Feared, but Reluctant, WHA and Minor League Enforcer
Episode #63: KC Scouts History and 1976 NE Whalers Upset win over Soviet national Team
Podcast Episode #59: New York rangers Goalies with Author George GRimm ... OT: Whalers and Stingers spend wild Thanksgivings in Birmingham ... Bobby Orr's last game as a 'B"
Podcast #50 - The '74 Summit Series, NHL training Camp Stories, NYR vs. Boston Bruins Alumni Classic
The New England Whalers defeat the Ottawa Nationals 4-3 in OT, April 8, 1973. Whalers goals shown here: Brit Selby (OT winner) and Tom Webster. Brian Conacher and Gavin Kirk score for the Nats, who were referred to as the "Ontario" Nationals for this series due to a dispute with the city of Ottawa. They played their home games in Toronto.
Two great characters mind the nets: Al Smith (NE) and Gilles "Loony" Gratton (Nats), who faced 57 Whalers shots.
The game was witnessed by 6, 156 at the Boston Garden.