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An Old Hartford Whalers Story, A Link



As I mentioned yesterday, my Dad is down from Kelowna to spend the weekend out here.

The fiancee made us one hell of a good dinner, and Dad and I sat around and drank some wine and talked hockey.  By the way, you’d be surprised at how rarely we talk hockey.

Here’s the story I thought was most entertaining:

Remember the way old nets were shaped?

The bottom portion used to look more like a “W” with the open part facing out, where the outer parts of the “W” were rounded - apparently this was to give the net better balance. The rest of the dimensions of the net were the same.

I HAD to pick this from Google Image. Dude I'm soooo high on sports.

Well, apparently the winds of change started blowing one fateful night in the 70′s in Hartford.

Mark Howe of the Whalers was driving the net full speed on Billy Smith and the Islanders, racing a defenseman back when something went horribly, horribly wrong.

A shot came from the boards, which Smith easily stopped.  Howe and the defenseman got tangled, and the Islanders defenseman ended up on top of Howe as they slid full speed into the net.

Well, that “V” shape in the middle of the net – pointed part of the “v” facing out – apparently got Howe in a certain orifice that usually acts as an exit, not an entrance (listed on his Wikipedia page as “upper thigh,” apparently not the case).

And not just “got” him, I mean…..bad.  Like, lots of blood bad.  Like, trainers telling him not to move until they figure out how to deal with the issue bad.

I’m not that comfortable going too in-depth as I’m playing telephone on someone else’s story, but it sounds like some reconstructive surgery was required to fix, um, certain tears. (Wiki page does say he was ”essentially impaled by the metal.”)

Can you believe that?  Can you imagine if that happened in TODAY’S media climate what would happen to that story?  It’d make awesome twitter hashtag history.  It’d be funnier than Sami Salo nut jokes.  Gold, Jerry, gold.


Head on over to Puck Daddy and check out my column today, I think you’ll like it.  In honor of Rene Bourque’s spear, I ranked the Top Five Cheap On-Ice Moves in order of no-no-ness. 


Oh, before you go, watch this (via Deadspin/Puck Daddy):


Oh, also a good story: a 1,100 Quebecers are heading to Nassau Coliseum basically to campaign to get a franchise.  Actually, they’re going to NY, getting in New Yorkers faces, and basically saying they deserve Long Island’s franchise (or Atlanta’s).  Yeah that’s gonna end well.

Story here on Deadspin.

Have a great Justin’s birthday weekend!  The kid’s turning 28.  Might be time to stop calling myself that.


11 Responses to “An Old Hartford Whalers Story, A Link”
  1. Sherry says:

    Thanks for the “interesting” Howe story (I think)…

    Oh and, HAPPY BIRTHDAY JB!! :)

  2. Ken says:

    I sort of remember that Howe incident but I always thought it was the peg that used to come up out of the ice that the posts slid over holding the net in place that he landed on which were subsequently replaced with those Nerf like ones we see now coming out of the bottom of the posts.

    As far as the Nordique Nation invasion goes, great for them that they are dedicated to show they want a new team up there, but they can’t have my Isles even if the whole organization is sucking badly.

  3. ms.conduct says:

    Holey hell… that’s quite a story.

    Happy Birthday weekend, Bourney. Stick with the “kid” thing until it’s grossly inappropriate and then keep sticking with it for the irony.

  4. Ryan says:

    You know what’s a great read when you sit down at your desk with your delicious beef stew for lunch? A story about a guy taking a chunk of steel to the ass. Really adds an extra kick to that meal.

    I’d actually heard that story when I was 9 or 10, and while it obviously scared the shit out of me it wasn’t that bad since we had the modern nets. That is until we went out to some twobit Alberta town that had apparently decided that the nets with the medieval torture devices included were a good idea. I don’t know that I crossed the blueline all game.

    And happy birthday weekend. I’ve declared 10 days of birthday celebrations for myself this year, including gladitorial combat (Medieval Times, and since it’s in New Jersey I assume the violence is real). I’m like a Roman Emperor.

  5. LaurenceB says:

    Happy birthday week-end!

  6. Pep the frozen canuck says:

    Happy birthday weekend notsomuchKIDanymore.:) I remember when that happened to Howe. I still cringe reading about it.

  7. StoneDevil says:

    Have a happy birthday this weekend.

    I had known about why the net change occurred, I just didn’t realize who the unlucky guy was and that it was an Islander game

  8. MattyJ says:

    I hope that kid in the video got a good beatdown after that.

  9. TheOldefirm says:

    Happy Birthday Justin. Remember, keep your stick on the ice!

  10. Char says:

    Oh, cripes. The moment I read “remember the way old nets were shaped?” I thought “Mark Howe.” Gak. I still to this day haven’t gotten over seeing that.

  11. St. Cloud Gopher says:

    Um, wow. That Howe story kind of put a damper on the day. That is until the birthday topic came up. Always a good day when it’s someone’s birthday, unless it’s mine and I inevitably have to cover girls’ state basketball Wed. through Sat.
    Seriously, for the last 3 years — 4 when March rolls around — I have spent the majority of my birthday at the Target Center watching girls’ hoops. My birthday is St. Patty’s day. Do you know what everyone else does that night? Do you know what everyone else does the weekend before/after? Yeah. I know too.
    And, no, I can’t do the weekend before/after either. Prep tourneys in Minn. start the last week of Feb. and run through the final weekend in March. I turn 30 in 2011, and have had to be Buzz Killington on two separate parties at which I was supposed to be featured. The new, tentative date is April 9 — to coincide with the wife’s. So, yeah, there goes that idea. Again.
    Hope your birthday is better than mine. Much, much better than mine.

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