Chris McAlpine – a former player for the New Jersey Devils, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Atlanta Thrashers, Chicago Blackhawks, and LA Kings – once got a unique new nickname from Brett Hull. But little did he know that it was going to save him from a beating during a bench-clearing brawl.
McAlpine played in the NHL from 1994 to 2002 for nearly 300 games, but some of his teammates didn’t enjoy saying McAlpine’s name. That led to the somewhat unexpected nickname.
” Kelly Chase and Brett Hull had given me the nickname that somehow derived from saying McAlpine real fast, which sounded like’ McCow Pie.’ Well, they eventually dropped the’ Mc,’ and just went with’ Cow Pie.'” McAlpine said.
But how did the nickname save him from getting his ass kicked? During his spell at St. Louis Blues, a massive brawl broke out in a game against Edmonton.
” I wind up tying up with Edmonton’s tough guy, Kelly Buchberger. We are locked up and I am just praying he is not going to connect with me. Meanwhile, our fighter, Kelly Chase, comes over says,’ Hey, Cow Pie, I got him, let him go.'”
” Kelly comes skating over to me while I am locked up with this guy and wants to take him, because he was a fighter and he had my back. So, as he says this,’ Cow Pie,’ Kelly Buchberger just starts laughing hysterically and can’t stop. He is just dying out there. He looks right at me and says,
Cow Pie?’ He thought that was the funniest thing he had ever heard. So, here I am in the middle of this bench-clearing brawl, tied up with this notorious goon who I think is going to kill me, and he is laughing so hard I probably could have pushed him over.”
Chris McAlpine got away from the fight without a beating, but the Edmonton players never forget the nickname.
” The worst part about it was afterward, whenever I would skate past the Edmonton bench they would all yell out’ Hey, cow shit! Come back over here, cow shit.’ At least it got me out of an ass-whooping.” He recalls.