Down Goes Brown wrote a delightful post for Grantland about the biggest NHL dirtbags, inspiring this series of posts about the details of their dirtbagginess and resultant injuries. No dirtbag discussion is complete without mention of Darcy Tucker, whose insane facial expressions alone are enough to strike fear into the hearts of children everywhere.
Darcy Tucker. Say his name, stand back and watch the expletives fly from the lips of Islanders fans. And Flyers fans. And Senators fans. And most other people. Fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs have a love/hate relationship with him – loving his willingness to fight anyone, hating his dumb penalties and cap hit that lasts until 2014. Like fellow dirtbag Sean Avery, Tucker inspired an NHL rule change. Unlike Sean Avery, he didn’t do it by pissing off a goalie, he did it by destroying someone’s knee.
Mike Peca’s Knee
In the first round of the 2001-02 playoffs the Maple Leafs met the Islanders in a series that was more fights and cheap hits than actual hockey playing. Game five was particularly ugly, seeing the end to Mike Peca’s season (and knee) and an incredibly filthy Gary Roberts hit that knocked Kenny Jonsson out for the season (literally). While the Tucker hit wasn’t technically dirty at the time, it resulted in the clipping rule: