On November 22, Wendel Clark's #17 will be raised to the rafters as the team honours its former captain and arguably the most popular player in franchise history.
In the lead up to that night, Down Goes Brown will feature a countdown of Wendel's Top 17 Greatest Moments.
Wendel Clark threw a lot of devastating body checks in his career. A lot.
For example, this one and this one and this one and this one and... well, you get the idea.
So if your name is Bruce Bell and you're on the receiving end of what everyone agrees is "easily the most devastating Wendel Clark body check ever", well, you can just go ahead and assume that things aren't going to work out very well for you.
Warning: Do not let small children watch the clip below.
This hit, from the 1986-87 season, did two things:
- Sent official notice to the rest of the league that this Wendel Clark kid in Toronto was scary as hell
- Effectively ended the career of Bruce Bell
Three things to enjoy about this clip:
- Notice how Bell never, ever looks up to see the hit coming. The story, possibly apocryphyl, goes that Blues goalie Greg Millen was yelling "You're fine, you're good, all clear" right up until impact. Further proof that nobody should ever listen to anything Millen says concerning the Maple Leafs.
- The way Charlie Bourgeois shows up and reluctantly drops his gloves, until Wendel points down at Bell and Bourgeois backs off. Most people assume Clark says something along the lines of "Hey, we can't fight, this guy needs medical attention". I like to imagine that he actually said "You're next".
- The old-school stretcher treatment. I'm all for players having access to the best possible medical care, but I really think we need to go back to the days when players carried the stretchers themselves.
(If by "Bell", you mean "internal organs" and by "rung", you mean "liquified".)