May 03, 2009

Stanley Cup Legends: Jim Lorentz

Did you see the little bird on the ice in Pittsburgh last night?

That instantly reminds me of the story of Jim Lorentz, aka Batman.

Lorentz is remembered as a pretty good support player for the 1975 Buffalo Sabres team that went all the way to the Stanley Cup finals. He is also well remembered for a zany act that will go down in the rich folklore of Stanley Cup history..

Lorentz used his stick to slay a bat, of all things, that was annoying players and fans. Nobody was sure whether the bat had found its way into the arena or was brought into the building by a mischievous fan.

"It was dive-bombing the crowd, and a couple of times it came near the ice and I remember Parent taking a couple of swings at it with his goal stick and missing," Lorentz said.

Fans continually reacted to the bat when it swooped down toward them, and it was a clear distraction. When Lorentz was standing still getting ready for a face-off and spotted it zooming toward him, he reached up and killed it with a slash of his stick. The crowd and the players were happy until they realized they had another problem.

"No one wanted to pick it up," said Lorentz, who instantly was dubbed as Batman. "Finally, (Philadelphia's) Rick MacLeish picked it up and buried it in the penalty box."

Not everyone was pleased by Jim's actions though. He actually received several letters from animal rights activists.

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