Dec 13, 2011, 6:03 PM EST
Hector “Toe” Blake is one of the most revered characters in hockey history. He won the Stanley Cup 11 times (three as a player, eight as a coach), is a Hall of Famer and, in 1982, was made a Member of the Order of Canada.
Also, he was kinda psycho.
Blake coached Montreal for 13 years and is still the winningest coach in franchise history. Yet it’s the way he coached that left an indelible mark on the league and most notably, its referees.
Blake does not opt for dialogue when he disagrees with an official. He prefers getting right to the point, which may be located anywhere on the anatomy of the referee in question.
In 1961, in the semifinals of the cup playoffs, Blake became incensed over a tripping call. He raged across the ice and threw a long, looping right hand at Referee Dalton MacArthur. Even though he missed, he was fined $2,000.
During the finals against Chicago last April, Blake was exasperated by some of Vern Buffey’s calls. After the game he skidded toward Buffey, intent upon elevating that referee’s jaw. His players restrained him, but on his way into the dressing room Blake managed to uncork his right at a fan—and missed again.
Moments later he popped his head out of the dressing room and bawled to reporters: “You all saw the game. You all saw what happened. Now let’s see how much guts you’ve got.”
Interesting footnote to this story: In 1945-46, Blake won the Lady Byng trophy — awarded annually to the player that exhibits the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct.
- Boychuk boarded by Pacioretty, taken off on stretcher (Update: has movement in extremities) 41
- Seguin (concussion) cleared to play tonight 0
- Bylsma: Sharks are NHL’s best, ‘with all due respect to Chicago’ 87
- Will the Rangers use a compliance buyout on Richards? 9
- Malkin (lower body) to miss tonight’s game versus Sharks 20
- Flyers’ Couturier: ‘We’re starting to believe in ourselves’ 59
- Columbus puts Bobrovsky (groin) on IR, out 4-5 weeks 3
- The Chip ‘n’ Chase: Olympic odds, Russia’s defense, King Henrik’s new deal, Fire Cappy? and more 28
- With Lundqvist deal done, Sather faces tough questions 11
- King of New York: Rangers sign Lundqvist to seven-year, $59.5 million extension 42
- Bylsma: Sharks are NHL’s best, ‘with all due respect to Chicago’ (87)
- Flyers’ Couturier: ‘We’re starting to believe in ourselves’ (59)
- Lehtonen shines, Roussel agitates as Stars beat ‘Hawks (53)
- Video: Canucks’ Bieksa fights Rangers’ Boyle, then kicks Boyle’s helmet (52)
- Boychuk boarded by Pacioretty, taken off on stretcher (Update: has movement in extremities) (43)