Wayne Gretzky is the greatest player in NHL history.
However, would he have that same kind of success if Marty McSorley had not been the “secret weapon” on some of those teams?
McSorley had one job while playing with Gretzky in Edmonton and Los Angeles. That job was to be the Great One’s bodyguard. He earned 50% of his paycheck looking out for Gretzky and the other 50%? Making those opponents pay who crossed Gretzky’s path.
He made a living out of making the opposition feel uncomfortable and throwing fist when that opportunity arose. The 6-1, 235 lb forward turned defensemen went undrafted after finishing his career with the OHL Belleville Bulls.
Although he did provide some offense that was certainly not his game.
His primary job was to be a defensive defenseman and protect his teammates.
Playing this type of game resulted in McSorley the NHL’s most penalized player in 1992-93 with 399 penalty minutes.
He also surprised some people in the 1990-91 season by recording a +48, best in the NHL.
McSorley finished his career by winning Stanley Cup’s in 1986/87 and again in 1987/88, both in Edmonton with the Oilers. He recorded 359 points (108-251) in 961 games. McSorley also recorded 3’381 penalty minutes. He went on to coach the Springfield Falcons in 2002/03 and 2003/04 after he retired.
McSorley was an underrated defenseman in the aspect that he had a dirty job and did it well. McSorley did the dirty things most would not do and put his face on the line every night. He never complained about ice time, never backed down from a fight or from a challenge.
He should be recognized for the job he did, allowing space for Gretzky to become the greatest in NHL history.
How do you feel about Marty McSorley and his career?
Featured Image: thehockeynews.com/Matt Larkin