Home > Comedy, Hockey, Sports, Weekend Feature > Mike Milbury, hockey’s shoe-wielding bandit

Mike Milbury, hockey’s shoe-wielding bandit

Brandon Prust vs Milan Lucic

Hockey and fighting – big deal, right? Put a bunch of angry Canadians on skates and a fight is bound to break out. Above you’ll see New York’s Brandon Prust about to get filled in by one of the meanest NHLers around these days, Milan Lucic. That happened last season, and there will be more of that when the NHL resumes. It happens all the time. But it’s never happened like this.

The spark:

On December 23, 1979, the Boston Bruins were at Madison Square Garden to take on the New York Rangers. The Bruins beat the Rangers 4-3, but because they’d had so much fun doing it, they decided they wanted to continue after the buzzer. The Boston players started a typical post-game melee that soon became anything but typical when a fan decided to get involved.

Rangers fan John Kaptain rolled up his program, leaned over the low glass and swatted at Bruins tough guy Stan Jonathan, cutting him under the eye. Then, in Jonathan’s words, “I put my stick up to protect myself, and he just took it, and I can’t be hitting no fan with a stick, really, eh, so I just let him take it.”

Yes, the man is Canadian.

The madness:

That was enough for Boston’s Terry O’Reilly. He climbed into the stands and the rest of the Bruins followed him, because they couldn’t leave their teammate at the mercy of a scared-shitless spectator with a hockey stick. O’Reilly grabbed Kaptain but others in the crowd hauled him off. Soon the whole Bruins team was beating up the crowd at Madison Square Garden.

Amid the chaos, the fan with the deadly program ran like hell, but he didn’t get away.

Boston defenceman Mike Milbury was among the Bruins climbing the glass, and he managed to chase down Kaptain. Milbury knocked Kaptain down, ripped off Kaptain’s shoe and started beating him with it while I security guard tried to stop him.

Bush shoe throw

He may have inspired this.

Security swarmed Milbury, but not before he got in a few good whacks.

Mike Milbury beats a fan with his own shoe

He’s under there. Somewhere.

The aftermath:

The Bruins were separated from the fans and put on their team bus. They needed a mounted police escort to get away from the arena because fans were trying to tip the bus.

Mr. Burns

“Are you saying ‘Booo’ or ‘Bruuu-ins’?”

Milbury’s post-playing career has been as highlight-filled as his shoe-beating heyday. As a general manager in the early 2000s, he led the New York Islanders to their second-worst regular season winning percentage in the franchise’s 30-year history, then salted the earth by trading away future stars Roberto Luongo and Zdeno Chara, among others, before getting canned twelve years too late. He is now (surprise) a broadcaster for ESPN and CBC. But he hasn’t gone soft; he’ll still drop the gloves on any punk ass twelve-year old dumb enough to mess with him.

Mike Milbury laughing

Class act, all the way.

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  1. October 18, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Reblogged this on Ride The Crease.

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