When Georges Laraque lost a fight at 17 years old, his father told him something that he would never forget

Georges Laraque became a cult hero in the NHL and a fighting hero and is often recalled as one of the toughest guys who ever played in the league.

And it all started with something his father told him on Feb. 6, 1994. Laraque was 17 years old at the time and was in the middle of his rookie year in the QMJHL.

Laraque was a big guy already in his teens, and he immediately understood that if he wanted to make it to the NHL, he needed to do something with his height and physicality.

Laraque knew he needed to drop the gloves against some of the toughest guys the sport has ever seen.

And so, when he was just 17 years old, he challenged one of the league’s toughest players, Sylvain Blouin, to a fight.

He didn’t care that he was just a rookie; he needed to make a name for himself. But it didn’t turn out great.

“I got killed and there was blood all over the place,” Laraque told Vice. “I had to go to the dressing room because a vein in my nose popped out it was bleeding so much.”

When Laraque sat in the locker room, holding a towel over his bloodied face, he started thinking if this really was the way for him to go. He started questioning what he was doing.

“I was like, ‘What the f—k? This job is nuts. What am I doing?’”

VANCOUVER, CANADA – OCTOBER 1: Georges Laraque #27 of the Edmonton Oilers skates against the Vancouver Canucks during their pre-season NHL game at General Motors Place on October 1, 2005 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

But then, Edy Laraque, Georges’ father, came into the locker room and said something he would never forget.

“He looked at me and said, ’Are you going to go hide in your mom’s skirt or are you going to become a man?’”

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Laraque carried that with him throughout his 12-season NHL career. From 1997 to 2010, he was in 131 NHL fights, according to hockeyfights.com, and he was both feared and respected.

“Now that I’m retired, I look back over what I did. I can’t believe that I fought for so many years,” he said.

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