Sportress of Blogitude

This Just In: Hockey Players Have Always Been Badasses

In light of the story regarding the toughness displayed by Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith after having seven teeth knocked out when he took a puck to the face and how he miraculously returned to the game after missing only a short period of time of Chicago’s clinching victory over the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference Finals, I would like to pass along a little story I came across about Blackhawks legend Stan Mikita.

Mikita, who played his entire 22-year, Hall of Fame career with the Blackhawks and was a member of the Chicago squad that hoisted the Cup in 1961, recounted some old war stories on Monday, including one about how he lost a chunk of his friggin’ earlobe during a game against the Penguins and how he played the next night (via Chicago Breaking Sports):

“I got one (puck) glance off my eyeball and my nose that nailed me pretty good. I couldn’t see good for two or three days,” the former Blackhawks center (1958-80) recalled Monday. “I got hit three or four times with the puck. If you’re skating across the line of fire and you don’t know if the guy is going to hoist it or whatever….yeah, I have been there.

“But the strangest one was in Pittsburgh when we were on a power play and Doug Mohns shot the puck from the blue line. One of the Pittsburgh players put his stick down so that the blade was aimed right at me. It hit the blade, bounced straight up in the air and it cut my ear off…my ear lobe. There was blood everywhere and our trainer came out. He said: ‘Come out, you’ve got a pretty bad one.’ As we were skating, the towel covering where my ear was looked like a red sweater, full of blood. So then they are sewing my ear back on. My wife was watching the game on TV and she thought it was my eye again. So I called her and said: ‘It’s my ear, and they are sewing it back on; I’ll be home at 2:30.’

“The next day, our assistant trainer grabbed one of the plastic protective cups we used to wear. He said: ‘You know, if you turn this thing upside down and tape it to your ear, you could probably play tonight.’ It hurt a little bit, but they had to freeze my ear to sew it back on.”

Sweet Fancy Moses, that is some gnarly stuff right there.

So, here’s to you, Duncan Keith and Stan Mikita: two players from two different eras who have shown that from way back when until the current day that hockey players are the baddest-ass athletes out there.

Tooth and nailed: Hawks’ Mikita lost an ear lobe [Chicago Breaking Sports]
Stanley Cup Finals’ absent stars: Duncan Keith’s teeth [Puck Daddy]