Ok, you may have heard about the Colorado hockey coach who was so upset with the ref that he expressed his frustration by taking off his clothes and throwing them on the ice, including his shoes. The video has gone viral the last two days, with various versions having been viewed by close to a million peope.
In and of itself, this is a funny and intriguing incident, but it is especially interesting when the person doing the stripping is someone you grew up with in Drayton Valley, Alberta.
I remember the first time I saw Greg play hockey, I was about 10, and I thought to myself “Wow, who is that kid that can skate like a demon and score at will?” Greg stood head and shoulders above most of us kids around Drayton Valley, and he seemed destined for the pros.
I played two games with Greg on the “travelling team” (the team with the better players from the house-leagues), before I was “sent down” to the regular league as one of the last cuts. I remember that he assisted on my one goal, and I assisted on one of his many goals. (For about a 2 minute span we were like 12 year old versions of Gretzky and Kurri! – or so I thought)
As I recall, years later Greg was just coming into his own when the NHL had a lock-out season in the mid nineties, he did play a few games with both the Ottawa Senators and the Calgary Flames, but he ended up with a great career in the second tier of North American pro hockey, even winning a couple championships and being voted the most valuable player of the playoffs.
Growing up, I remember that Greg had quite the temper (both in hockey and in baseball come think of it), but he was just that kinda’ guy – he always wore his emotions on his sleeve, very emotional and full of life. I also remember him having the biggest smile, and as someone who was always laughing. No doubt Panky is laughing at himself a little this week, after his over-the-top striptease tantrum the other night.
Here’s hoping he replaces Don Cherry on CBC’s Coaches Corner some day! (Didn’t Cherry also coach in Colorado?)
Before I show the now famous striptease - here is Greg scoring one of the best goals you’ll ever see on camera - just imagine the hand-eye coordination required to pull this off! This is an example of the exceptional offensive skill he had as a player.
And here is the Slap Shot-esque Stip Tease:
And for real hockey fans, here is a look at Panky’s career stats – This shows that Greg was an all around player, often scoring well above a point-per-game, while often racking up more than 200 minutes in penalties at the same time. (I read somewhere that Greg is in the upper echelon of pro hockey players when you combine points and penalties together.)
Way to go Panks.