As told to: Dave BidiniWhen I played for Halifax in the Habs’ system in the AHL, we weren’t allowed to lose to either Moncton – who were Toronto’s farm team – or Fredericton – who were Quebec’s. One night we went into Fredericton and played well, but we blew it at the end and lost 3-2. Our coach, John Brophy, was livid after the game. He had a $10,000 Rolex that he placed on the floor and smashed into smithereens. He took off his jacket and tore it to shreds. He sat at the front of the team bus and as we started to pull away, he punched a hole in the double-paned window beside where he was sitting. We had a six-hour drive to Halifax and the bus driver told him, “If you ever do that again, you’re getting out.” Broph looked at him – he gave him one of those long, scary glares – and said:
“Listen, buddy. If you say another word, I’m gonna kick you out and drive the fucking thing myself.”
Another time, we played Moncton in Halifax and lost at home. The game before, we’d had some disabled kids come down to the room. One of them was a huge Voyageurs fan. Everybody was signing things and patting him on the back and somehow he ended up getting invited back for the next game, too. He was wheeled into the room after the loss and put near the door. Broph came in ranting and raving and screaming about us being a bunch of invalids. He spotted the fellow in the wheelchair and said: “What the fuck is he doing in the room? We gotta enough of these fucking guys sitting right here!” He opened the door, put his foot on the back of the wheelchair, and booted him out of the room, sending him across the hallway and into a wall. He yelled at the guy, “Now stay the fuck out!” then smashed our weight machine to pieces, ripped the stick holder off the wall, and broke every stick we owned.
DAVE BIDINI is the co-creator of ‘Slapshot Diaries’ as well as a writer/musician/columnist from Toronto and the author of 12 books.
I dropped my wallet from the 500 level
Games people play
Azerbaijani refugees and my lost Summit Series postcards
The Cat was a metal head
Want to be a goal scorer?
THE FIRST GAME PT 3
THE FIRST GAME PT 2
THE MUSIC AND THE GAME
THE FIRST GAME
THE RAGE IN JOHN BROPHY
RAININ’ HARD IN ‘FRISCO
TAMBURICA AND THE GROUP OF SEVEN
POETRY WITH BOBBY HULL
BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE
THEY DON’T FIGHT LIKE THEY USED TO
ME AND GEDDY
GUNS, MONEY AND MOSCOW
LET’S FACE IT, AS A TEAM GUY HE WAS A PIECE OF S*&T
THE FIGHTER’S BOND
MY PHOTO ALBUM NO. 2
LOSING TIM HORTON
THE EAGLE AND THE END
HOW TIGER SAVED BRYAN, AND OTHER STORIES
THE SOUNDTRACK OF HOCKEY
THE MOURNFUL SAGA OF BRYAN FOGARTY
HARTFORD AND HOWARD
MY PHOTO ALBUM NO. 1
THE BEER COAT
I LIVED FOR MUSIC
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2 thoughts on “THE RAGE IN JOHN BROPHY”
I worked as a minor official at the Metro Centre in Halifax. I remember the kind of antics from Brophy. John was the entertainment if the Vees had a bad night.
what a guy!