August 03, 2016

Louis Sleigher

Louis Sleigher played in 194 NHL games plus another 17 in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

He may be best remembered for a game he got kicked out of, however. It was one of the most infamous games in NHL history.

On April 20, 1984, Louis Sleigher's Quebec Nordiques were facing off against the heated rival Canadiens from Montreal. Sleigher started a brawl after knocking out Montreal's Jean Hamel with a sucker punch, setting off what has infamously become known as the Good Friday Massacre in game 2 of their playoff series. Hamel's career more or less ended that night as he struggled to recover from the injuries.

Sleigher had already been in the Habs cross hairs that season. In the pre-season he had hit veteran defenseman Rick Green causing him to miss much of the season with a wrist injury.

The incidents prompted hulking defensman Larry Robinson to call Sleigher a "back-stabber" who "doesn't belong in this league."

Lucky for Sleigher, Robinson never did get a hold of him while angry.

Sleigher was actually drafted by the Canadiens back in 1978, but is best known for playing his pesky game for the hated rivals the Quebec Nordiques and Boston Bruins. Sleigher never signed with Montreal, instead inking a contract with the WHA's Birmingham Bulls for the 1978-79 season.

The WHA collapsed in 1979 and four teams and all the players merged with the NHL. Sleigher's future remained cloudy, however, as Montreal never protected his rights and no team at all claimed him in the dispersal draft.

In training camp 1980 Sleigher would sign a contract with the Quebec Nordiques. The first couple of seasons he played mostly in the minor leagues, but he would enjoy three consecutive seasons in the NHL from 1982 through 1985.

During that 1985 season - which was spent with the Boston Bruins - Sleigher so badly injured his groin that no surgery could save his career. Try as he might, the injury ultimately ended his career.

Sleigher scored 46 goals and 99 points in his career.

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