Hockey is a fast-paced sport that’s full of exciting historic moments. Some of these moments are well-known to dedicated hockey fans all over the world. Here are three of the most shocking moments in NHL history.
Willie O’ Ree Skates Past the Hockey Color Barrier
Willie O’ Ree became the NHL’s first black player during the 1957-58 hockey season. His career with the Boston Bruins was relatively brief, as he played in only 45 games. But during that time, he was known for keeping his composure in the face of prejudice and racism.
In 1988, O’Ree became the NHL’s Diversity Ambassador. He travels across the US and Canada, speaking at schools and hockey programs to encourage confidence, inclusion, and dedication. Because of his success with breaking the hockey color barrier, he is often compared to Jackie Robinson – the first black man to play in modern major league baseball.
Bob Baun Scores a Winning Goal on a Fractured Ankle
There’s nothing quite as painful as fracturing a bone. But sometimes you have to ignore the pain to get a job done. And that’s exactly what Bob Baun did in 1964 while playing with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
It was 1964, and the Toronto Maple Leafs were playing against the Detroit Red Wings in game 6 of the Stanley Cup final. Baun’s ankle was broken late in the third period after a blocked slap shot struck his ankle. He was carried off the ice in pain, and everyone assumed he was out for good.
During intermission, Baun asked to have his ankle frozen. His request was granted, and he managed to play overtime on the broken ankle. He scored the game-winning goal that advanced the Maple Leafs to Game 7, and eventually, the Stanley Cup win.
Ace Bailey and Eddie Shore Make Peace
Ace Bailey’s hockey career came to an end on December 12, 1933, after a violent incident with Eddie Shore during a game. Shore hit Bailey in the back of the head with a hockey stick. The hit caused brain damage and almost killed Bailey. Bailey eventually recovered, but his career was over.
Bailey and his family needed help to pay his medical expenses. The NHL responded by creating the very first NHL All-Star Game as a fundraiser for Bailey. During the event, fans gasped in shock to see Bailey and Shore hug and shake hands at center ice. To everyone’s surprise, Bailey and Shore had made peace following that terrible incident.