Marty McSorley was a nightmare to play against. He was the toughest of the toughest, and even some of the most feared players in league history absolutely hated dropping the gloves with him.
McSorley was fearless, and he was the pure definition of a protector and enforcer. He did absolutely everything to keep his beloved friend and teammate, Wayne Gretzky, healthy and off trouble.
McSorley followed Gretzky throughout The Great One’s career, and he ensured that it would be a high price if you wanted to mess with Gretzky. Whenever someone even tried to do something against The Great One, you could bet on a wild McSorley going straight after you.
McSorley recalls one time when he got a player benched straight out of fear for what he would do against Detroit’s star players.
”I was already maxed out on game misconducts, so if I had one more game misconduct, I had to sit out two games, and we had like ten games left of the season,” McSorley said on The Suspendables podcast.
”We’re in LA, we’re trying to make the playoffs, and we’re playing Detroit, who’s loaded with talent. We’re actually up 4-0, and Shawn Burr comes up and spears Gretzky.
”So I go over and I’m like, ’Really, Shawn? Now?’ And he goes, ’Go ahead! Do what you want, I don’t care.’ And he thinks he’s doing something good for Detroit.”
”So the next commercial, I go over to the Detroit bench, and the linesman comes over but I just say, ’No, no. I just want to talk to Stevie and Coff.’ So I says, ’How you doing, guys? So, we got a problem.’ Coff goes, ’We don’t have a problem.’ And I say, ’Yeah, we got a problem. Shawn Burr speared Gretz.’ Coff goes, ’Not my problem.’ I said, ’It is now. Because if Shawn Burr plays one more shift, I’m either going to break your arm, or I’ll break Yzerman’s arm.’ Stevie walked over to Scottie, and Shawn Burr didn’t play another shift for that night.”