Darren McCarty and Claude Lemieux weren’t exactly best friends. McCarty has even revealed that the angriest he was during his career was when fighting Lemieux. And that says a lot from a guy who fought over 200 times during his career.
Nobody can forget the ”Bloody Wednesday,” when all hell broke loose during a game between the Detroit Red Wings and the Colorado Avalanche. One year earlier, Claude Lemieux had delivered a nasty check to Kris Draper, and now, during the Brawl in Hockeytown, McCarty saw a chance to get back at Lemieux, and he did. Some months later, they fought again, which was the last battle between them.
But several years later, during the 2002-03 season, as Lemieux was playing for the Dallas Stars, he skated over to McCarty, who thought another fight would go down.
“What the f*ck do you want?” McCarty asked, according to a piece on The Post Game. “You looking to go again?”
What Lemieux said shocked him.
“No, I just want to say, ‘I’m happy for you that you’re doing better in your life,” he said.
McCarty had just started to get clean from substance abuse, and he says that his view on Lemieux changed that night.
After ending their careers, they met again during an autograph session.
”We talked, not about hockey, but our children. We both have sons, roughly the same age, who are playing hockey. As we talked, I could see why Shanahan and Lemieux were good friends when they played together in New Jersey. Obviously there was an off-ice Lemieux and an on-ice Lemieux. I didn’t respect the on-ice Lemieux. But I did like the off-ice Lemieux,” McCarty said.