[Ed. Note: Some lists chronicle the best in hockey. Others the worst. Others the most memorable or greatest or essential. What Puck Daddy’s 2016 Summer Series seeks to do is capture those indefinable, quirky, oddities that occur every season. Moments that defy prediction or, in some cases, logical explanation. Welcome to WEIRD NHL.]
1. Dallas radio station wakes up Bryan Marchment
We’ll start off with a moment from the 1997-98 season that some Stars fans might not even know about.
First, some background. By the time the Stars and San Jose Sharks faced off in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Marchment had already become the most hated hockey figure in Dallas. He was a thorn in the Stars’ side all season as an Edmonton Oiler before a couple of in-season trades landed him in San Jose.
Dallas lost winger Greg Adams for six weeks to a Marchment hit that Stars coach Ken Hitchcock called “disturbing.” In December, Marchment earned a three-game suspension for a hit that left NHL leading-scorer Mike Modano sidelined with a knee injury for six weeks.
And when Game 1 of that first round series came around, Dallas didn’t even have time to ready themselves for Marchment’s antics before he rode Joe Nieuwendyk into the boards, leaving the future Conn Smythe winner out of action for six months.
Naturally, Dallas erupted in rage. Marchment received no penalties or suspensions (thanks, Brian Burke) but did receive death threats before Game 2.
He also received a rude wakeup call in his hotel the morning after the hit. That morning, Craig “Junior” Miller and George “Honorable Jub Jub” Dunham of the “Dunham & Miller Show” (colloquially known as The Morning Musers) on 1310 The Ticket acquired the number to Marchment’s hotel room in Dallas.
The Musers called him at 6 a.m. He answered! Seven minutes of awkward conversation with a half-asleep Bryan Marchment ensued. He defended his hit, accepted a fight invitation from a local high schooler, accused the Stars of being “injury-prone” and made fun of Stars center Bob Bassen’s height. It was awesome and entirely strange, even if he didn’t remember any of it.
CLICK HERE to listen to the ‘wake up call.’
2. Antoine Roussel’s magical goal from outer space
You’ll surely remember this one.
Dallas was already up 1-0 in their first round series with the Minnesota Wild and looking for the first goal of Game 2 when something completely odd happened.
The highly accurate sequence of events for the video-impaired:
1. Wild defenseman Marco Scandella tries to clear the puck from behind his own net.
2. The puck hits a portal in front of Ales Hemsky’s skate.
3. The puck exits the space-time continuum.
4. The puck re-enters our dimension and flies at Roussel’s skate.
5. The puck ricochets off Roussel’s skate, off Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk’s head and rests on his shoulder.
6. Dubnyk thinks it’s a spider, panics and tries to smash it between his back and the crossbar.
7. The puck goes in the net.
The officials reviewed it while “Time In A Bottle” played in the arena, adding more insanity to the weird play.
Roussel got the goal and one of the strangest playoff goals you’ll ever see.
3. The time Guy Carbonneau threw the Stanley Cup out of a window
If you ask the NHL or the Stanley Cup’s handlers you’ll get flat denials this ever happened. But the tale has been recounted enough times that it’s probably true.
When the Stars won the Stanley Cup in Buffalo in 1999, a mysterious dent had appeared in the base of the hallowed trophy. Stars spokesperson Larry Kelly claimed it was dropped in the locker room celebration.
But defenseman Craig Ludwig and Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul have offered different takes.
”It really got dented when Guy Carbonneau threw it off my balcony into my pool,” Paul said, referring to the Stars’ 39-year-old center. Carbonneau did not make a clean shot, Paul said. ”It’s his fault, Mr. Hockey himself.”
Stars defenseman Craig Ludwig said he and the team, arriving at Paul’s house with roughly 200 people the night after the big game, hauled the cup into the drummer’s home. Stars’ players have built a relationship with the members of Pantera, which recorded what many consider the team’s theme song.
Ludwig agrees that Carbonneau threw the cup into the pool, but he isn’t willing to say the toss actually caused the dent.
Carbonneau, however, is crying foul. He said he didn’t throw the cup toward the pool and doesn’t know if anyone else did, for that matter.
Hooked On Hockey attempted to verify this story with a party member in 2013:
The source explained the incident as such: “I don’t remember a whole lot. I got there late and remember it was like a huge frat party. The guys were jamming downstairs and Guy [Carbonneau], Luds (Craig Ludwig), and Matty (Richard Matvichuk) were upstairs. They were yelling something out of the window that I could not make out.”
He went on to explain that Carbonneau tossed the Cup out of the window, but said it looked more like he accidentally dropped the Cup than intentionally threw it. The Cup then hit the lip of the swimming pool and fell in.
While the keeper of the Cup claims that didn’t happened, the source I spoke to simply said, “Didn’t see him,” and that reactions were a mix of party attendees laughing, indifference, or shock.”
So the Stars won the Stanley Cup in controversy and nearly destroyed it hours later. Somewhere, a Sabres fan is fuming.
4. Eddie Belfour’s $1-billion offer
Eddie is a Dallas hero simply for guiding the Stars to their only Stanley Cup in 1999. But his legacy was darkened somewhat by his struggles with alcoholism in his final years in Dallas. As sad as that is, it did provide one of the strangest claims any Dallas athlete has ever made.
In March of 2001, Belfour was arrested for fighting security guards and police at a Dallas hotel. Belfour tried to get out of the arrest with a ludicrous offer that earned him the “Best Bribe” award in the Dallas Observer’s annual “Best of Dallas” edition.
It’s not uncommon for well-known people, when they get in trouble with the law, to start playing the “Do you know who I am” game. The hope is that the police officer will then recognize the movie star or athlete or politician and say, “Oh, my, I’m so sorry, sir or madam. Please continue your illegal activity unabated. And, hell, take my gun. You may find use for it.” Needless to say, that rarely works. So when Eddie Belfour was busted for assault, resisting arrest, and general crazy-ass behavior at The Mansion hotel late in the hockey season, he rightfully tried a new tactic: the straight-ahead bribe.
Not just any bribe. To forget the whole thing and undo the ‘cuffs, he offered the cops one billion dollars. Now, since the officers said he was, you know, schnockered, they took the bribe as less-than-serious. Either way, whether he had his wits about him or not, something tells us Eddie’s contract has some kinda hidden jail bonus in it if he can offer that kind of scratch.
5. Six Shades of ‘Razorisms’
Nobody embodies the fun-loving culture that Stars fans inhabit more than color commentator Daryl “Razor” Reaugh. If you follow hockey closely, you know him. And you love him as much as we do.
If you don’t, well … there’s a reason why he’s regarded as the best color guy in the league. At least 70 percent of Razor’s game is intelligent, spot-on analysis and (mostly) unbiased critiques of both sides.
The other 30 percent can get kind of weird.
You know, like that time he fell in love with a Mike Ribeiro goal.
Or when he put your broadcast skills to shame.
And I’m fairly sure he’s the only sports broadcaster in history to compare a scoring play to a goose with bowel problems.
So if you ever wonder why Stars fans enjoy their hockey with a little oddball humor, look no further than this wonderfully weird man.
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About the author: Pat Iversen is a NHL editor, writer and pun-maker for SB Nation. He’s avidly followed and written about hockey ever since he watched Brenden Morrow ascend to god-hood at the first game he ever attended. The Stars then missed the playoffs for five years. These things may or may not be related. Follow him on Twitter: @pat_iversen.