December 06, 2011
Steve Durbano: Demolition Durby
They called him "Demolition Durby" and "Mental Case Durbano." He is perhaps hockey's baddest man - both on and off the ice. He is Steve Durbano.
Durbano was a journeyman defenseman for parts of 6 NHL seasons. His toughness was legendary, and also the reason he was so highly touted when he came out of junior. He was drafted 13th overall in the 1971 Entry Draft by the New York Rangers. The Rangers passed on names like Terry O'Reilly and Larry Robinson to get Durbano.
The Rangers, however, traded Steve before he even played a game in the NHL. He ended up in St. Louis where he made his NHL debut in the 1972-73 season. He would go on to play with Pittsburgh, Kansas City/Colorado before returning to St. Louis in 1978 to finish his career. Durbano scored 13 goals and 73 points in 220 NHL games.
Durbano sat out 1127 PIM in his 220 NHL games, a average of over 5 minutes a game! The 5.1 PIM per game is the highest mark for anyone with more than 1000 minutes. When the Broad Street Bullies were brawling their way through the mid-seventies, Durbano led the league in penalty minutes with 370. When asked who was the toughest player of his day was, he'd always answer "I was. I still have all my teeth, and I'm proud of that."