Monday, October 9, 2000
McSorley claims he took hit for hockey
TORONTO -- Marty McSorley insists he took the rap for the NHL during his assault trial, when he could have aired the league's
dirty laundry to save himself.
"I absolutely refused to put the game of hockey on trial," he
said. "I could have had coaches, general managers, Hall of Famers
testify. I could have showed hours of videos, which would have
showed ugly incidents of what really happens in the NHL. I didn't
feel that was necessary. I didn't want to turn this into a
McSorley spoke to the Toronto Sun, Vancouver Province and the
Eagle-Tribune of Lawrence, Mass., in his first extensive remarks
since he was convicted on Friday of assault with a weapon for
striking Vancouver's Donald Brashear in the head with his stick.
"It's unfortunate that the only place I was able to bring light
upon the situation was in a court of law," he said. "Many people
wanted this to be a trial about violence in hockey and I did my
best to steer away from that."
McSorley said he received much support from players who
encouraged him to tell all.
"So many of these guys looked upon this and told me to do the
best I could do. They told me, 'Don't worry about the game. You
have your own life to live.' I couldn't do that," he said in the
newspapers on Sunday.
McSorley escaped jail time and was placed on 18 months'
probation. He is dismayed at the reasoning of Judge Bill Kitchen,
who rejected McSorley's contention that the hit was intended for
"It wasn't something I made up to cover myself," he said. "It
really bothered me to hear the judge look at the tape and make
assumptions contrary to what I know to be the truth."
Vancouver coach Marc Crawford angered McSorley when he testified
that he has never sent any player on the ice to fight.
"Let's just say I had players volunteering to give
contradictory testimony," said McSorley, who refused to identify
McSorley told the Sun and Province he has borne the cost of his
legal fees, which are at least $200,000. The NHL Players'
Association has paid for some Vancouver hotel rooms and a
conference room in Los Angeles.
So far he has had no help from the league or the Boston Bruins,
whom McSorley played for at the time.
The 37-year-old defenseman says he intends to see NHL
commissioner Gary Bettman about reinstatement in the next 10 days.
He told the newspapers he's had feelers from teams and is
considering playing in Germany.
McSorley says the ruling may make it increasingly difficult for
him to do his job.
The enforcer's job is to keep stars healthy and focused on the
finesse part of the game," he said. "Maybe the enforcer's role
will be obsolete. ... I used fighting to show I could grow as a
player, and I think I did."
|Marty McSorley expects to meet with commissioner Gary Bettman within 10 days.|
Judge rules McSorley is guilty of assault
Players say McSorley ruling 'opens can of worms'