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.
Obviously any list of Wendel Clark highlights is going to include a scrap or two. For Moment #16, let's go with a Norris Division bout that serves as a good summary of Wendel's work in this area.
Here's Clark vs Hawks heavyweight Mike Peluso at the Gardens, from October 20, 1990.
Daddy, why isn't the red man moving anymore?
A few things I enjoy about this fight:
- Peluso is already flat on his back by the time they can even get the camera switched over to it. This happened in at least 50% of Wendel Clark fights.
- Listen to how loud the Gardens gets when Wendel drops the gloves. Keep in mind, this isn't a playoff game -- it's October. What would need to happen these days for the ACC to get that loud during an early season game? An announcement of free shrimp cocktails for the 100-level? Howard Berger falling headfirst out of the pressbox? Jason Blake back-checking? God I miss the Gardens.
- After KOing him with one punch, Clark falls on top of Peluso and continues to pummell him. At this point, Peluso has a better-than-average chance of dying. And yet two Blackhawk teammates are standing a few feet away and don't make a move to help. (You can see this especially well on the replay after the 1:00 mark.)
One of them at least manages to do a semi-convincing job of pretending to be engaged with a linesman, while the other (wearing #4, which I think would be Keith Brown) just flat-out decides not to get involved. You can almost hear them muttering "Well, better him than me, we'll send his widow a canned ham".
Sadly, Peluso's heroic attempt to serve as a cautionary example to other NHL players failed... as we'll see several times as we count down our list.