Bruins defenseman Eddie Shore trudges through a snowstorm and
reaches a doctor's home while carrying his ear, which was sliced
off in a scrimmage. "Gimme a mirror," Shore says. "I want to
make sure you sew it on right."
Three hours after police stop a bloody on-ice battle in Toronto
between the Montreal Maroons' Lionel Conacher and his brother
Charlie, of the Leafs, the two return to their parents' nearby
home to share cold cuts, ice packs and cold cuts doubling as ice
March 28, 1950
Family members and a priest are brought to the hospital after
the Red Wings' Gordie Howe suffers a skull fracture when he is
checked into the sideboards against the Leafs. He returns the
next season to win scoring title and retires 30 years later.
March 28, 1957
Red Wings goalie Glenn Hall, who played in 552 straight games,
is knocked out by a slap shot in the first period of a semifinal
game against the Bruins. He's taken to a hospital, where he gets
23 stitches in the mouth, and returns to play the third period.
April 18, 1952
The Canadiens' Maurice Richard is knocked unconscious by a
cross-check in Game 7 of the semifinals against the Bruins, but
he returns from the hospital to score the winning goal, which he
still doesn't remember.
Feb. 12, 1961
Red Wing Howie Young runs Leafs goalie Johnny Bower, who loses a
tooth and suffers hemorrhaging in his left leg. Leaning on the
crossbar to stay upright, Bower plays the final 12 minutes in a
The Bruins' Ed Johnston, the last goalie to play every game in
one season, breaks his nose three times in a 10-day span.
Doctors at a Boston hospital put leeches on his eyelids to
reduce the blood buildup.
April 23, 1964
Leafs defenseman Bobby Baun is carried off on a stretcher after
a slap shot shatters his right tibia in Game 6 of the 1964
finals against the Red Wings. He returns to score the game
winner in overtime and also plays in a Game 7 victory. Baun
celebrates Cup win during a postgame ambulance ride.
Nov. 9, 1969
Flyers defenseman Ed Van Impe loses eight teeth after blocking a
shot in the second period against the Oakland Seals. Trainers
sew his split tongue together so that he can return for the
Islanders defenseman Denis Potvin suffers a fractured instep
early in the season. Doctors apply a quick-drying, form-fitting
cast before each game, and he plays wearing an extra-large
skate. Potvin can't walk properly, but he skates well enough to
win the Calder Trophy.
Jan. 5, 1985
Rangers defenseman Tom Laidlaw ignores pregame stomach pains and
plays an afternoon match in Boston. Doctors locate the problem
later that night and remove his spleen.
Dec. 26, 1987
Asked why he returned one period after breaking his nose against
the Red Wings, Pittsburgh defenseman Rod Buskas answers, "I
don't skate with my nose."
April 26, 1989
Blackhawks center Jeremy Roenick spits out five teeth when
slashed by the Blues' Glen Featherstone in the playoffs. Roenick
scores the game-winning goal on the ensuing power play.
April 18, 1991
Right wing Tomas Sandstrom of the Kings fractures the bone below
his right knee in a playoff game against the Oilers. After
scoring a goal two games later, he insists, "It was only a
Mario Lemieux's chronic back pain can't keep him from winning
the scoring title or the league MVP award. However, it prevents
him from tying and untying his skates, a task often performed by
April 14, 1994
Brendan Shanahan of the Blues is cut by a high stick from the
Jets' Keith Tkachuk in the first period. After taking 40
stitches to close the cut, Shanahan returns to score twice in
St. Louis's 3-1 win and beats up Tkachuk in the third period.
Oct. 22, 1997
Sitting rinkside at Madison Square Garden, Janet Gretzky gets
knocked out by falling Plexiglas and is carried out of the arena
on a stretcher. Husband Wayne plays the last six minutes of the
game for the Rangers and says, "She feels more embarrassed than
anything else right now."
May 10, 1998
Chris Pronger of the Blues collapses with cardiac arrhythmia
after a shot hits him in the chest. As doctors prepare to begin
on-ice CPR, Pronger's heart starts beating again. Two nights
later he plays a game-high 35 minutes.
COLOR PHOTO [Doug Gilmour playing hockey]
B/W PHOTO: AP [Gordie Howe with bandaged eye and head in hospital bed]
TWO COLOR PHOTOS: PAUL BERESWILL [Jeremy Roenick with hand over mouth; trainer tying skates of Mario Lemieux]
COLOR ILLUSTRATION: PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY AARON GOODMAN [Montage of Doug Gilmour's eye and helmet superimposed on simulated X-ray of skeleton]
B/W PHOTO: LEE BALTERMAN [Bobby Baun playing hockey]
COLOR PHOTO: DAVID E. KLUTHO [Paramedics hauling Chris Pronger on stretcher]
Right collarbone breaks when he is slammed into a goalpost
in juniors. "It was a little uncomfortable," says Gilmour.
Fractures his right hand when he uses it to break his fall after
being cross-checked from behind in juniors.
Right cheek is shattered in a fight in juniors, yet Gilmour
plays the rest of the game. His brother, David, says, "He looked
Abscessed jaw brings on a high fever, which puts him in a
hospital for several days. Says Gilmour, "I hate hospitals. I
couldn't wait to get back onto the ice."
Breaks right foot while jogging during an off-season workout. He
is fully healed by opening night.
Four teeth, including two in front, are knocked out by an errant
stick. The next day he postpones a dental appointment so he can
Herniated discs in lower back render him unable to bend over and
tie his skates. After the season he is treated on a
body-stretching contraption known as "the rack."
Bone is shaved from the insteps of both feet, a procedure that's
necessary in part because he wears skates that are a half size
A bone in his left shoulder is chipped, the result of a
cross-check. "We thought he'd be out six weeks," says Toronto
trainer Chris Broadhurst, "but he never missed a shift."
Suffers the most recent of his many concussions when he collides
with an opponent. "It worries me sometimes," Gilmour says of the
potential long-term effects of the head injuries.
Nose is surgically repaired after being broken by a shot. When
Gilmour returns, he scores five points in his next five games.
A cross-check bruises rib cartilage, forcing Gilmour to don a
flak jacket for a game. He hates the jacket but, Leafs trainer
Chris Broadhurst says, "he had no complaints about the rib."
Requires 25 stitches around left eye after getting struck by a
puck. Gilmour describes his wound as "a little scratch."
After a collision that causes a flare-up of pain in his right
knee, Gilmour undergoes surgery to remove 35% of the cartilage.
"It's difficult to tell what's an old injury and what's a new
one," says Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello.