Sticky Situation Mcsorley's Equipment Part of Kings' Stanley Cup History

By Beacham, Greg | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), May 28, 2012 | Go to article overview

Sticky Situation Mcsorley's Equipment Part of Kings' Stanley Cup History


Beacham, Greg, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)


EL SEGUNDO, Calif. --

Somewhere in Marty McSorley's home in Hermosa Beach is a hockey stick with a blade that's curved at least a quarter-inch more than the legal limit.

McSorley, a longtime NHL tough guy, doesn't keep the most infamous stick in Los Angeles Kings history on display, saying it's not important enough. He's probably correct: The stick's proper place is near the billy goat, the Bambino, the cover of the Madden NFL video game and every other supposed curse-carrying item in sports history.

That stick, and McSorley's resulting penalty for using it, turned the 1993 Stanley Cup final in favor of the Montreal Canadiens, who knocked off the Kings in Los Angeles' only previous trip to the final before this season. The Kings will take their second shot at their first NHL title starting Wednesday at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

McSorley has grown weary of talking about that Game 2 disappointment over the past 19 years, yet he also believes the full story of the Canadiens' skullduggery isn't known. He hopes the current Kings run will help fans finally straighten out their bad feelings about the illegal curve, which gets far too much attention, he insists.

"I think there's been a degree of sensationalism, a big degree of sensationalism, and I don't think there's been a lot of honesty," McSorley said. "Did I have an illegal stick? Yes, I did. Did I stand up after the fact and say, 'Listen, I had an illegal stick?' Yes, I did. The things that have transpired since then, I don't think there has been a lot of honesty."

McSorley quickly makes it clear he's referring to the widespread belief that the biggest penalty in Kings history was the result of an inside job.

As the much-disputed story goes on Los Angeles' side of it, the Canadiens did a sneaky investigation of the Kings sticks earlier in the series when Los Angeles' portable stick rack was in Montreal's locker room -- or maybe when the Kings just weren't looking. Canadiens coach Jacques Demers knew exactly which sticks to challenge at a key moment, violating all sorts of unwritten codes about sportsmanship and trade secrets. …

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