Wayne Gretzky was a lot of things, but a fighter, he wasn’t. Gretzky is undoubtedly the greatest hockey player of all time, but he wasn’t the most physical player. Instead, he outsmarted his opponents, and he was always at the right place, at the right time. Gretzky could score, he assisted more than anyone, and he was a hell of a skater.
But he always let somebody else take off the fighting. Gretzky had a lot of protection on the ice from his teammates, and few people dared to go hard against him. And nobody even had the thoughts of fighting him. But one time, Gretzky threw his gloves in a classic fight against Neal Broten. There were a lot of things extraordinary in the fight. For one thing, Gretzky never fought. But that one time, he did, and he lost.
But the most remarkable thing is that Broten left the game alive. When you went after Gretzky, his teammates took revenge, but somehow, Broten got away without a severe beating.
But he did get threatened. A lot. Even from his teammates.
Dave Gagner played in that game, for the Minnesota North Stars and has recalled how even Broten’s teammates wanted him dead.
”One of the funnier lines I ever heard as a player. Curt Giles said that after the fight 10 guys went by the penalty box and told Brotsy he was dead. 5 were on our team,” he wrote on Twitter.