Marty McSorley

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Marty McSorley
Marty McSorley coaching USS Reagan team-Jan-8-09.jpg
McSorley in 2009
Born (1963-05-18) May 18, 1963 (age 58)
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 235 lb (107 kg; 16 st 11 lb)
Position Defence/Right Wing
Shot Right
Played for Pittsburgh Penguins
Edmonton Oilers
Los Angeles Kings
New York Rangers
San Jose Sharks
Boston Bruins
NHL Draft Undrafted
Playing career 1982–2001

Martin "Marty" James McSorley (born May 18, 1963) is a Canadian former professional hockey player, who played in the National Hockey League (NHL) from 1983 until 2000. A versatile player, he was able to play both the forward and defense positions.

A former head coach of the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League (2002–04), aside from his hockey career, McSorley has worked as an actor, appearing in several film and television roles. McSorley was a valued teammate of Wayne Gretzky during their years playing together for the Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings, where he served as an enforcer.

In 2000, his on-ice assault of Donald Brashear with his stick, in which Brashear suffered a severe concussion, led to McSorley's suspension and eventual retirement from the NHL.[1]


Early life and hockey career[edit]

McSorley was born in Hamilton, Ontario, but grew up near Cayuga, Haldimand County, Ontario. He made his NHL debut in October 1983 with the Pittsburgh Penguins, but rose to fame after a trade in September 1985 brought him to the Edmonton Oilers. His arrival and physical presence soon made Edmonton's incumbent enforcer Dave Semenko expendable, and McSorley inherited the title of "Wayne Gretzky's bodyguard".[2]

This title would follow him to Los Angeles in 1988, when both he and Gretzky, along with Mike Krushelnyski, were obtained by the Los Angeles Kings. With the Kings, McSorley's bruising style made him a fan favorite; but he strove to improve his game beyond being primarily known as an enforcer, earning great respect around the league for his hard work ethic, his fine team play, and his articulate intelligence off the ice.[2]

In the 1992–93 NHL regular season, McSorley led all defensemen in shorthanded goals with three.[3]

The Kings reached the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals against the Montreal Canadiens, but in Game 2 with the Kings up 2–1, McSorley was caught with an illegal stick, contributing to the Canadiens game-tying goal. Montreal ending up winning that game in overtime and ultimately took the series in five games. McSorley otherwise had ten points in the playoffs, and was the only King to score during the final game. Some suggested that he was the second most dominant King after Gretzky in the playoffs.[2]

McSorley was then traded the following off-season in an August 1993 trade sent him to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for offensive forward Shawn McEachern; however, his stay in Pittsburgh would be brief (only 47 games). The Kings re-acquired him on February 16, 1994.[4] Back with the Kings, he assisted on Gretzky's goal which broke Gordie Howe's all-time goal-scoring record. On March 14, 1996, McSorley left the Kings' organization for good, traded to the New York Rangers as part of a multi-player deal.

After completing the 1995–96 season with the Rangers, McSorley returned to the West Coast after being acquired by the San Jose Sharks in August 1996. He spent two injury-plagued seasons with the Sharks before returning to Edmonton as a free agent in October 1998. Confined to a part-time role in his second stint in Edmonton, he left after one season and signed with the Boston Bruins in December 1999. As a Bruin, his NHL career would come to a sudden and infamous end in a game against the Vancouver Canucks on February 21, 2000.[5]

Assault conviction[edit]

In a game between the Bruins and the Vancouver Canucks in Vancouver on February 21, 2000, McSorley swung his stick and hit Donald Brashear in the head with 4.6 seconds left in the game. Brashear fell backwards and hit his head hard on the ice, losing consciousness and suffering a Grade III concussion. McSorley was charged with assault and suspended by the NHL for the remainder of the 1999–2000 season (including the playoffs), missing 23 games. On October 6, 2000, Judge William Kitchen of the Provincial Court of British Columbia found him guilty of assault with a weapon for his attack on Brashear. He was sentenced to 18 months probation. The trial was the first for an on-ice attack by an NHL player since Dino Ciccarelli's 1988 trial.[6]

After his assault conviction, his NHL suspension was extended to one full year through February 21, 2001.[7] It was the longest suspension for an on-ice incident in modern NHL history.[8] McSorley's contract expired during the suspension, and he would never play in another NHL game.

He appeared in 14 games for the Grand Rapids Griffins of the IHL in 2000-01, and retired at the end of the season.

United Kingdom[edit]

During his suspension, he attempted to continue playing hockey in the United Kingdom with the London Knights, where his elder brother Chris was coaching, but this move was blocked by the International Ice Hockey Federation, in deference to the NHL suspension.[9] A similar intention to play in Germany for the Munich Barons also failed, but he then played for the Grand Rapids Griffins in their final IHL season, dressing for 14 games.

In the autumn of 2001, following the completion of his suspension, McSorley again looked towards the other side of the Atlantic. He considered purchasing the then struggling Cardiff Devils team with his brother,[10] in order to pursue a new player-coach role and to develop interest in the sport in the UK.

McSorley appeared as a guest player for both Great Britain and the Cardiff Devils during a series of games in November 2001,[11] but the business deal failed to materialise.

Coaching career[edit]

McSorley coached the American Hockey League team the Springfield Falcons between 2002 and 2004.

Film and TV career[edit]

From 1995 to 1997, McSorley also appeared in four movies in small roles: Bad Boys (1995), Forget Paris (1995), Con Air (1997) and Do Me A Favor (1997).

During the 2005–06 NHL season, McSorley worked for Fox Sports West in Los Angeles, providing in-studio analysis of games involving the Los Angeles Kings or the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. He provided color commentary for the San Jose Sharks games on FSN Bay Area during 2006–07 NHL season. McSorley's time in that role ended mysteriously midway through the Sharks playoff series with Detroit, when the Sharks announced McSorley would not return for a Game 3 broadcast for personal reasons. No further explanation was given.[12]

He appeared in one episode of CSI: Miami in 2005 as rink manager Andrew Greven. On July 30, 2007, McSorley guest starred on ABC Family's Greek as himself playing a hockey goaltender. In February 2008, McSorley was featured as one of the pros on Pros vs Joes on Spike TV.

Canadian singer-songwriter Kathleen Edwards referred to McSorley in her song "I Make the Dough, You Get the Glory", with the lyric, "You're the Great One, I'm Marty McSorley..., I make the dough, but you get the glory." McSorley appears in the song's music video.[13]

McSorley is currently a TV analyst for Sportsnet and occasionally Hockey Night in Canada. He is a regular at Staples Center during Kings hockey games.[14]

Personal life[edit]

McSorley currently resides in Hermosa Beach, California. He married beach volleyball player Leanne Schuster in August 2002.[15] They have three children.[14]

Awards and achievements[edit]

Career statistics[edit]

Bold indicates led league

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1980–81 Hamilton Kilty B's GHL 40 16 17 33 72
1981–82 Belleville Bulls OHL 58 6 13 19 234
1982–83 Baltimore Skipjacks AHL 2 0 0 0 22
1982–83 Belleville Bulls OHL 70 10 41 51 183 4 0 0 0 7
1983–84 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 72 2 7 9 224
1984–85 Baltimore Skipjacks AHL 58 6 24 30 154 14 0 7 7 47
1984–85 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 15 0 0 0 15
1985–86 Edmonton Oilers NHL 59 11 12 23 265 8 0 2 2 50
1985–86 Nova Scotia Oilers AHL 9 2 4 6 34
1986–87 Edmonton Oilers NHL 41 2 4 6 159 21 4 3 7 65
1986–87 Nova Scotia Oilers AHL 7 2 2 4 48
1987–88 Edmonton Oilers NHL 60 9 17 26 223 16 0 3 3 67
1988–89 Los Angeles Kings NHL 66 10 17 27 350 11 0 2 2 33
1989–90 Los Angeles Kings NHL 75 15 21 36 322 10 1 3 4 18
1990–91 Los Angeles Kings NHL 61 7 32 39 221 12 0 0 0 58
1991–92 Los Angeles Kings NHL 71 7 22 29 268 6 1 0 1 21
1992–93 Los Angeles Kings NHL 81 15 26 41 399 24 4 6 10 60
1993–94 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 47 3 18 21 139
1993–94 Los Angeles Kings NHL 18 4 6 10 55
1994–95 Los Angeles Kings NHL 41 3 18 21 83
1995–96 Los Angeles Kings NHL 59 10 21 31 148
1995–96 New York Rangers NHL 9 0 2 2 21 4 0 0 0 0
1996–97 San Jose Sharks NHL 57 4 12 16 186
1997–98 San Jose Sharks NHL 56 2 10 12 140
1998–99 Edmonton Oilers NHL 46 2 3 5 101 3 0 0 0 2
1999–2000 Boston Bruins NHL 27 2 3 5 62
2000–01 Grand Rapids Griffins IHL 14 0 2 2 36
NHL totals 961 108 251 359 3381 115 10 19 29 374


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sports".
  2. ^ a b c Pelletier, Joe (5 June 2011). "Los Angeles Kings legends: Marty McSorley". Greatest Hockey Legends.Com. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
  3. ^ "1992-93 NHL Skater Statistics".
  4. ^ Barry Melrose (March 4, 2013). "O'Reilly situation is nothing new". Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  5. ^ Caldwell, Dave (2002-06-19). "HOCKEY; McSorley's Stormy Career Makes Track Change in Springfield". The New York Times.
  6. ^ "NHL Player Found Guilty of Assault". ESPN Sports. 6 October 2000. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
  7. ^ "McSorley Suspended From NHL Until Feb". ABC News. 2000-11-07. Retrieved June 4, 2012.
  8. ^ "N.H.L. ROUNDUP; McSorley's Suspension Extended to One Year". The New York Times. 2000-11-08. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
  9. ^ Newman, Paul (January 23, 2001). "Ice Hockey: McSorley foiled by ban". London, UK: Telegraph. Retrieved February 23, 2015.[dead link]
  10. ^ "Hardman McSorley dices with Devils". BBC News. 8 November 2001. Retrieved 2008-11-10.
  11. ^ "Ice fans snap up tickets". BBC News. November 6, 2001. Retrieved 2008-11-10.
  12. ^ Pollak, David (Aug 2, 2007). "Popular Sharks TV analyst is back". San Jose Mercury News. BARF-Bay Area Riders Forum-Community-Kitchen Sink blog. Retrieved 2012-06-04.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "Ottawa singer Kathleen Edwards teams up with former NHL-ers for new video". Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  14. ^ a b McSorley profile,; accessed February 23, 2015.
  15. ^ "Leanne Schuster: Career". Beach Volleyball Database. Archived from the original on February 23, 2015. Retrieved February 23, 2015.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Co-winner of the NHL Plus/Minus Award
(with Theoren Fleury)

Succeeded by