Ron Hextall had plenty of highlights during his 13-year career in the NHL. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1989 and even scored two goals which both became NHL history.
Hextall was a great goaltender, but after all, he was also well known for his reputation. He engaged in five fights during his career, and a few would probably say he was like an enforcer in many ways.
During the 1993-94 season, Hextall played for the New York Islanders. The team was getting ready to face the St Louis Blues on the road, and a couple of hours before the game, Hextall was having some food together with some teammates.
One of them was backup goalie Jamie McLennan. And he was going to experience what Hextall’s temper could lead to.
”Hexie was so proud of this brand new suit that he had got and the waiter leaned over to give Pat Flatley his, one fell of a plate right onto Hexie’s lap, Jamie McLennan tells TSN. “All I remember is him leaning over and said ‘you better be ready tonight because I’m going to kill somebody’.”
Hextall was obviously very annoyed about it. As an NHL player, and especially a goalie, it’s important to forget everything else and just focus on the game.
But in this case, it seemed like that wasn’t the case for Hextall.
St Louis scored three early goals and Hextall wasn’t happy. Since they didn’t have space for the backup goalie at the bench in the old Checkerdome, McLennan watched it all happen from behind the net.
”I’m all the way at the other end behind Cujo (Curtis Joseph) of all people. We’re early in the game and I’ll never forget we’re down 3 nothing, and the third goal Hexie goes a little berserk and starts chasing after Petr Nedved.”
At that point, legendary coach Al Arbour had seen enough. McLennan was called to the bench and jumped onto the ice to replace Hextall. But there was more to come..
”Cujo as I skate by goes ’good luck kid’, and I skate the whole length and 3 refs are like wrestling Hexie and they’re taking him off the ice like he’s a caged animal,” McLennan recalls in an interview with TSN.
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