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1993: Marty McSorley’s illegal stick

The Story


Jacques Demers isn't known as a risk taker prior to tonight's Game 2 of the 1993 Stanley Cup finals, but his reputation as a gambler is about to be galvanized. With the Los Angeles Kings leading 2-1 late in the third period, Montreal Canadiens coach Demers calls for a measurement of Kings enforcer Marty McSorley's hockey stick. Demers believes the blade of McSorley's stick is curved beyond the legal limit prescribed by the National Hockey League. In this clip from the game, all eyes are on referee Kerry Fraser as he stands in front of the Forum timekeeper's box and applies a measuring gauge to the disputed blade. A cheer goes up as the official places the stick in the box, signifying its illegality.

Medium: Television
Program: Hockey Night in Canada
Broadcast Date: June 3, 1993
Duration: 3:10

Did You know?


• A seldom-used tactic, the stick challenge is an inherently risky maneuver. If a player's blade is found to be illegal, he must serve a two-minute penalty, leaving his team. However, if the stick is deemed legal, the challenging team is assessed a two-minute penalty for delay of game.

• Later in the game, Demers gambled again when, with 1:45 remaining on the clock, he elected to pull goalie Patrick Roy in favour of an extra attacker. Already shorthanded due to McSorley's penalty, the Kings were at a two-man disadvantage. However, the Canadiens net was empty. Habs defenceman Éric Desjardins then scored a goal, tying the game and sending it into overtime.

• Less than a minute in, Desjardins scored on the Kings again, evening the series. With that goal, he became the first and only defenceman in Canadiens history to register a playoff hat trick.

• With this win, the Canadiens triumphed in a remarkable eight overtime games in the 1993 playoffs alone. The Habs went on to win the series and the Stanley Cup that year.


Also on June 3:
• 1968: The Royal Canadian Mint announces that nickel will replace silver in Canada's coins.
• 1987: Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and the 10 premiers sign the Meech Lake constitutional accord. It calls for Quebec to have special status within Canada, plus more powers for the other provinces. But the deal dies three years later when it fails to win approval in Manitoba and Newfoundland.


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