When Darren McCarty was playing in the AHL, he understood something needed to change for him to make it to the big league. He was never the most talented player on the ice.
Not the fastest, not the most skillful one. But he was strong as an ox, and he took advantage of it.
Darren McCarty started fighting, started enforcing. And it took him beyond his dreams. He entered the NHL in 1993, and it happened to be in his childhood team, the Detroit Red Wings.
Darren McCarty won the Stanley Cup four times and is a Red Wings legend if there ever was one.
Darren McCarty took no prisoners on the ice, and his opponents feared him. And they should, with how good he was in dropping the gloves in mind. And that just wasn’t the case on the ice.
If you were searching for trouble and bumped into McCarty, you were sure to get hurt.
When McCarty got married in the early 90s, he, of course, had an awesome bachelor party story to go with it. He wrote about it in his book, ’My Last Fight: The True Story of a Hockey Rock Star.’
”We were celebrating in the Post Bar in Detroit, and sure enough a fight breaks out in the front of the place that has nothing to do with me or my party. It spills back to us and I’m lifting the women over the bar to give them a shot to be safe. I’m ’gently’ pushing the fight back up front, but it was getting out of hand. So we decided to get out of there, and we all headed out the back door.
”I’m standing outside talking to one of the guys in my party and I see one of the combatants from the fight exit the bar and coldcock Adam Gabrielle, my best friend growing up. For no apparent reason, he just sucker punched Gabrielle. Guido, as we called him, went down like a sack of potatoes.”
As you can guess, it didn’t take long until McCarty took revenge.
”Five seconds later I had Guido’s assailant by the throat. I banged his head against a parking meter, and blood came pouring out.
”I thought about hurting him more. But I made the decision that it was time for us to leave. He must have not known who I was, or he knew he was in the wrong for attacking Guido. Either way, the police were never called about the incident.”