Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Great Obscure Moments in Leafs History - Markov Salutes Jagr

Great Obscure Moments in Leafs History - An ongoing series to honor the greatest, completely meaningless moments in Toronto Maple Leaf history.

For a few months now, I've been diving into my old Leaf tapes and posting clips on Youtube. It's been fun to hear from fans who remember some of these moments and hadn't seen them in years. And often, I get requests for memorable clips that have never found their way online.

But there's one clip that's easily the most wanted, accounting for almost half the requests I get. And it's not a goal, or a hit, or even a fight. It's the Markov Salute.

More specifically, it's Danny Markov's mocking salute to Jaromir Jagr, delivered moments after Gary Valk ended the 1999 Leafs/Penguins second round series. This was back when Jagr was making a big show of saluting after every goal, and Markov decided to throw one right back at him.

I finally found the clip. Watch for it, right at the end:

A few thoughts.
  • Danny Markov was probably insane.

  • No, scratch that. Danny Markov was definitely insane. This is the same guy who once attacked a mascot, shot a puck at a referee, and trash-talked the Senators bench after getting hit in the face with a slapshot. He was definitely insane. God I miss him.

  • Markov actually salutes Jagr three times. The first two are with a glove on. At that point he starts yelling down the ice, presumably to get Jagr's attention, and then gives him the glove-off version. I loved Danny Markov.

  • Um, is that Keith Olbermann?

  • You know, for a guy who never passed, Sergei Berezin assisted on a lot of Leaf overtime winners. He set up Garry Valk here, as well as Steve Thomas and Cory Cross. Those were presumably the only three assists of his career.

  • A great underrated hockey tradition: when a team wins in overtime and their goalie makes the lonely skate all the way down the ice looking for someone to hug. Curtis Joseph gets completely ignored for 190 feet, then Mike Johnson comes out of nowhere and flattens him. Good times.

  • Nice play by Jiri Slegr on the goal. One of the first things they teach you in defenceman school is "When there's a loose puck in the crease, always deliver a sliding dropkick to your goalie's groin."

  • Fans of other teams like to say that Bob Cole is secretly a Leafs fan. Maybe they're right, because apparently he also refuses to acknowledge the Leafs' 1994 Conference Finals loss to the Canucks ever happened.

  • Tough call for "Most Obscure Guy in the Pile" here, but I'm going to go with a 20-year-old Adam Mair, who makes an appearance a full three years before his rookie season. It's either him or Ladislav Kohn, who was always fantastic in Facts of Life.
So Leaf fans, here's your homework assignment for this week. Find some annoying mulletted dink who makes ten times as much money as you do, and give him a Markov Salute. You'll feel better about yourself. Trust me.


  1. This is one of my favourite Leafs moments of all time. You're right: Markov was insane. I miss him too.

    I read somewhere that Markov was a smoker, too. Doesn't surprise me.

    Good times. Great post.

  2. This was the post I've been waiting for so long. I love, love Markov and his downright craziness is what I miss the most. He was painfully shy in front of the cameras and if I recall, was embarrassed to scare off the women with what he described as a non-attractive face. Too bad about his nighttime activities that made the team trade him for Robert freakin' Reichel (though his trade to Phoenix likely saved his life).
    Fantastic post once again.

  3. DGB-
    Check the Valk video at 0:35- there is a Pens fan who apparently wants to French-kiss Karpotsev, unless I'm mistaken.

  4. Hey, you actually got the video clip! I posted a couple of messages on your YouTube page last night but I didn't expect it THIS quickly! (Stoiky14)

    Thanks a lot man, this moment was epic.

  5. Awesome video. Any chance you have one I've been trying to find forever? It's Steve Sullivan's goal from behind the net, I think it was vs. SJ

  6. Interesting notes: At the end, Bob Cole say the Leafs are in the Conference Final for the first time since 1993... we did get that far in 1994, didn't we?

    I was at that game where Berezin passed to Steve Thomas in OT. Also, when he was briefly a Hab, I found myself at the game where he scored the 10000th home goal in Hab history -- on a line with Doug Gilmour and Yanic Perreault!

  7. Markov = Epic Win! I can't remember any other Leafs D-men that always tried to block shots teeth-first.

  8. i give every dink i come across a mocking salute... it's so satisfying

  9. DBG, I think you incorrectly tagged this post. It says "Playoffs", when the correct spelling is "PLAYOFFS!!1"

  10. BelligerentBurkie, just be grateful anybody involved in any way with the Leafs knows what the "p" word means.

  11. Markov was batshit insane. Nobody ever stood in front of the Leafs goal when he was on the team.

    I remember one time when Dino Cicarelli was in his usual spot in front of the crease and Markov slewfooted him, pushed him in the face and then sat on him with his knee across Cicarelli's neck. He got a penalty, but got up arguing with the ref as if he did absolutely nothing wrong. It was hilarious.

    Boy do I miss him. Talk about truculence. Markov and Yushkevich were rock solid and tougher than Chuck Norris. Yeah, I said that.

    And then came Berard, who begat McCabe, who morphed into Kaberle who then married Beauchemin. Sigh. I miss the anger.

  12. Oh, and DGB, I'm calling you out.

    The salute and referenced video are clearly mentioned in Markov's Wikipedia entry.


    You 'Finally found the clip'?

    Didn't take too much digging.


  13. @shaner...

    Check the posted date on youtube page. And the poster's name.

    Let's just say the Wiki guys apparently moves a lot quicker than I do.

  14. That was fantastic. Markov was beautifully, wonderfully, delightfully fucking crazy.

    Love that salute. Love it.

  15. Adam Mair was definitely green during that playoff year. I recall he was duped into dropping his gloves and taking an unsportsmanlike penalty by Barnaby in the Buffalo series.

  16. Markov was one of my favourite Leafs ever. I remember reading an article about him during a playoff series with the Flyers. The reporter asked him what he was thinking about when the likes of Lindros and LeClaire were barreling down on him. Markov, beautifully replied, "I'm thinking fuck you and fuck you too!"

  17. @caber...

    Looks like him on the end boards ad.

  18. God dammit those were the days! Markov, berezin, cujo....that was THE team. God dammit. Thank you DGB for bringing tears to my eyEs

  19. I recall there was another amazing Markov moment when we were playing the Sens in the playoffs and Markov baited .. maybe it was Rob Ray(??).. into pushing him around, trying to start a fight. Markov just backed off, and as Ray went to the penalty box dusted his hands to show his job was done. Fucking classic.

    I also ran into him once on the street, outside of Rotate This! on Queen Street. He was smoking a cigarette and I went up to him and thanked him for doing such a great job in the playffs and mentioned that I had got 55 Markov on my jersey. He replied with

    "Ha Ha Ha! Nobody like Markov on jersey! No girls like that!"

    Quite an awesome guy.

  20. Are we all talking about Danny Markov bing fucking crazy? What about Shaner who's claiming that Markov is thougher than Chuck Norris. I bet you when Markov gets in water he gets wet. However when Chucky Norris gets in water, he doesn't get wet; the water gets Chuck Norris. So keep that in mind before you make such allegations!!!

    On a serious note tho... As a non leafs fan, I still love this site. It seems you, as well as most of the posters, are avid fans but you do not, however, try to make absurd claims about this team and expectations and prospects. Very refreshing to see leafs fan that are realistic about expectations.