Marty McSorley says Kings never accepted him

Vancouver Sun — McSorley tired of hearing about The Curse

With the Los Angeles Kings pushing for a Stanley Cup and the city getting excited about hockey, it can’t be any surprise the papers are bringing up what they’re calling the ‘McSorley curse’ and how the team is trying to overcome said ‘curse.’

[…] Needless to say this is all pretty tiresome to McSorley, who lives in L.A. and, [he says?] more often than not, people include just a snapshot of what happened, not the whole story.While he freely admits he was in fact using an illegal stick, he also wants people to know the Canadiens had some help in making the crucial call. It’s now been well documented that Luc Robitaille […] was contacted a year later by a Montreal policeman who said his conscience was bothering him over the incident. Apparently the cop was told to leave his post for a few minutes between periods while the Habs examined the LA sticks […].

I don’t know if the story rises to the level of “well documented”, but it is at least often reported.

“Gary Leeman told the whole story about how they had our stick rack in their room,” says McSorley, recounting the situation in detail. “[…] There must have been five of us who had them because it was never called by anybody. In fact, at the time it was illegal to ask for a stick measurement during overtime. They just picked me because I killed all the penalties. I’ve spoken to people who have video of the time the request for the measurement was made and they claim at least six to eight of the Montreal players can be seen handing their sticks back to the trainer at the Montreal bench. A lot of guys used them.

“Was I using an illegal stick. Yes, I was, but it’s not as if I took a torch to it. They came from the factory that way. I used the same stick in the next game and tied Game 4 with what might have been the same stick.

Why? Are you an idiot?

“[…] What bothers you is that nobody ever talks about anything else that happened in that series. […] Nobody talks about how Dave Taylor, Gretz (Wayne Gretzky) and I had a three-on-two with eight minutes left and as Wayne passes the puck to me and I’m getting ready to shoot, Taylor gets called for interfering with the goalie.”

I love that the writer clarifies that “Gretz” is Wayne Gretzky.

Nobody ever mentions Montreal had a player in the crease when the much talked about tying goal was scored either — something strictly enforced in those days —but what bothers McSorley most was the reaction of LA management at the time and how there wasn’t much support from the likes of president Rogie Vachon or general manager Nick Beverley, given how well he and the rest of the team had played getting to the final.

None of us guys from Edmonton (who came in the Gretzky trade from the Oilers) were ever really accepted for some reason,” says McSorley, who currently works for Sportsnet as one of the most outspoken and frank analysts on television. “Maybe it was because (Kings owner) Bruce (McNall) had made the deal and it wasn’t really accepted by them or something. He was running things through them, but at the end of the season when my contract was up I got an offer from another team and all I ever heard from Beverley was a fax saying that they had matched the offer and traded me to Pittsburgh. No phone call from your own team after you’d been to the Cup final.”

I don’t think you need a conspiracy theory to explain why Kings management didn’t give McSorley a big thank-you after the 1993 playoffs. Hey, maybe they heard you continued using the same stick the rest of the series.


  11 comments for “Marty McSorley says Kings never accepted him

  1. Garrett79
    May 23, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    “Why? Are you an idiot?”

    Quisp, you crack me up.

    • May 24, 2012 at 1:25 AM

       +1 authentically loled. please never stop kings blogging.

  2. JamesFlagg
    May 23, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    Interesting details from McSorley. It was pretty sad that he took a somewhat disproportionate amount of blame for the game 2 loss…..Much like Bill Buckner in the 86 World Series, people forget  that the late PP goal simply tied the game….Kings could have won in OT, and the stick measurement would have just been an interesting side note. It was sad because McSorley was really the heart and soul of the Kings D that year – he never played better before or after that season.

    • Sam
      May 23, 2012 at 3:49 PM

      He had no business that late in the game playing with an illegal stick with an opportunity to go up 2-0 with three straight home games. None of the players did. Total lack of hockey IQ. I have no problem with the amount of blame heaped on McStickley.

      • Garrett79
        May 23, 2012 at 4:14 PM

        3 straight home games? No. The format for the Finals was the same in 1993 as it is today 2-2-1-1-1. Game 5 was played in Montreal.

        • OneTimer
          May 26, 2012 at 8:26 AM

          Exactly … which is why the Canadiens got to celebrate their Cup win, in game FIVE, on HOME ice.

  3. Dan H.
    May 23, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    I was telling someone today that it’s disturbing that he’s hanging around the Kings these days.  I don’t want any bad karma to swing into this locker room.  I thought he was dumb at the time and the fact that he’s playing it down and he played with the same stick the next 3 games proves he was an idiot….well his baseball swing  at that other enforcers head while in Boston pretty much made that clear before he retired.

  4. USHA#17
    May 23, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    Sorry Marty, your forever a part of King’s lore.  As lore goes, the Kings lore is only 40 years in the making and thanks to your misfortune I, many fans wear your stick like the proud scar of a time tested King’s fan. 

    Yes Marty, merely having suffered through only 44 years of losing and losing big all we’ve had is the ability to indulge ourselves by elevating our martyrdom to near unprecedented levels only seen in towns like Boston and Chicago.

    Marty, you were a great player.  I was there.  I saw most every game.  And, you gave the greatest core hockey fan base something exclusive that only a select few have been unable to provide us; a touchstone moment in LA hockey history. 

    But hey, lose that stick or even better, enshrine it at Staples. Kings lore.

  5. May 23, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    I forget who was telling the story (Melrose? Hrudey?)  but I remember hearing that most of the Kings had backup sticks that they’d go to with five minutes or so in games, and that Marty just had the wrong stick with him on the infamous shift.

  6. WantedPlayerX
    May 26, 2012 at 6:38 AM

    He should be thankful that the lasting image of his playing days centers around the curve of his stick and not his similarity to a lumberjack swinging an axe; just ask Donald Brashear.

  7. Kdruff2
    May 26, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    It was a devastating call. I remember it, watching from home on t.v. That close to being up 2-0 against, of all teams, the much ballyhooed holier than thou Canadians. We lost the game, we lost the cup and now we’re finally back.

    As for Marty, one of my favorite players on the team at the time (along w/ blake and sandstrom). Again, it was devastating but the Kings needed everyone on the team just to be there at the end, on the big stage. From day one of being a LA King, Marty give everything he had and protected fellow players up and down the lineup. Yes, he instigated as well but the point of it is the Kings would not of been there w/o Marty’s key contributions through the regular season and playoffs. I still remember his hit on Gilmour as he tried to come across the middle of the kings zone at Maple Leaf garden in game 1. And the fight that ensued afterwards w/ W. Clarke.

    What great Kings’ lore. I forgave Marty pretty quickly because in sports, it’s never just one play or player.

    I do like the idea of burning the stick in front of the Staples Center though!

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