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.
Let's cut right to the point: in the early 90's, Bryan Marchment was a punk who needed a good ass-kicking.
He was notorious for his cheap shots, especially his patented knee-on-knee hits that would put guys on the shelf for months. Short of Ulf Samuelsson, he was probably the biggest prick in the NHL. To make matters worse, in 1991 Marchment started wearing a full facemask to protect a broken jaw. Of course, he kept running guys.
Well, one night Wendel decided he had seen enough. After Wendel took an innocent poke at Steve Larmer, Marchment figured he'd glide in for a cheapshot.
Remember that line from The Usual Suspects: "How do you shoot the devil in the back? What if you miss?" Well, here's the NHL version: "How do you cheapshot Wendel Clark? What if he sees you coming?"
Wendel saw Marchment coming, decided he looked undernourished, and fed him both fists and half his hockey stick.
The fun wasn't over yet. As players piled on and Marchment headed for the hills, Steve Smith wound up tangled up with Wendel. The Leafs captain gave Smith a dirty look, which caused his face to explode.
A few other things to watch for in this video:
- A classic early example of Jim Hughson's fake "oh, the horror!" routine that he now does during every hockey fight, at 4:30.
- Doug Gilmour, playing one of his first games as a Leaf, taking down Grimson with an open-ice tackle at 4:03.
- The organist breaking into the theme song from "Dallas" for reasons that I'm sure made sense to him at the time.
- Grimson doing the all-time greatest "hold me back while I pretend to want to fight" routine, essentially skating all over the ice trying to get Wendel, who just stands there watching him. Interesting side note: in some states, trying to chase down Wendel Clark for a fight is legally considered a suicide attempt.
- A Bob Halkidis sighting!
- Keith Brown playing tough guy on the bench. Hey Keith, Mike Peluso wants to know where all that toughness was last time?
Unfortunately, as we'll see later on this list, they forgot to have that translated into Russian.