Brawl in Hockeytown

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The Hockeytown brawl was a mass brawl as part of a National Hockey League ice hockey game . On March 26, 1997, rivals Detroit Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche met at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit , also known as Hockeytown . The reason for the brawl was an incident during the 1996 Western Conference final series .


In the sixth game of the 1996 Western Conference finals, Kris Draper , center of the Detroit Red Wings, was checked from behind against the gang by the right winger of the Colorado Avalanche, Claude Lemieux . Draper sustained fractures of his nose , lower jaw and cheekbones , as well as a concussion . Colorado won the game and moved into the Stanley Cup finals, where they were also victorious.

The fight

The teams met three times in the 1996/97 season without a particular incident. But in the fourth game of the regular season between the two teams there was a mass brawl. Shortly after a collision between Detroit's Igor Larionov and Colorado's Peter Forsberg , Darren McCarty , who played in a row with Kris Draper, saw the chance to avenge his comrade and hit Claude Lemieux several times. Colorado goalkeeper Patrick Roy skated to the center line to defend his teammate when he was checked by Red Wings striker Brendan Shanahan . While Avalanche defender Adam Foote took on Shanahan, Detroit goalkeeper Mike Vernon came out of the gate and called on Roy to fight. Vernon won the battle and left the ice without major damage. Patrick Roy, however, was bleeding from his head.

After further brawls and the associated penalties, the game continued and it was 5: 5 after 60 minutes. The winning goal in extra time was scored by Darren McCarty.


Mike Vernon, who celebrated his 300th career win that day, said the game would have welded the team together for the playoffs . Colorado coach Marc Crawford wondered why Darren McCarty was not punished more severely and Avalanche attacker Mike Keane criticized that Kris Draper did not intervene in the fight himself, but that others had fought for him. Scotty Bowman , the Red Wings coach, said that it would never have come to that if Lemieux had apologized.


In total, there were two game misconduct penalties, 18 major penalties for brawling, a double minor penalty and 17 minor penalties. Without the game misconduct penalties, there were 128 penalty minutes in the game.

Game misconduct penalty

Detroit Red Wings : Aaron Ward
Colorado Avalanche : Brent Severyn

Big penalty (5 minutes)

Detroit Red Wings : Jamie Pushor (x2), Kirk Maltby , Mike Vernon , Wladimir Konstantinow , Brendan Shanahan , Aaron Ward, Tomas Holmström , Darren McCarty
Colorado Avalanche : Brent Severyn (x2), René Corbet , Patrick Roy , Adam Deadmarsh (x2) , Adam Foote , Mike Keane , Uwe Krupp

Double minor penalty (4 minutes)

Detroit Red Wings : Darren McCarty

Minor penalty (2 minutes)

Detroit Red Wings : Kris Draper , Igor Larionow , Mike Vernon, Martin Lapointe , Darren McCarty, Kirk Maltby, Jamie Pushor
Colorado Avalanche : Scott Young (x2), Joe Sakic , Peter Forsberg , Adam Deadmarsh (x2), Patrick Roy, Sandis Ozoliņš (x3)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Grinnelli: 22-Years-Ago The World Witnessed 'The Brawl In Hockeytown' One Of The Most Insane Hockey Games Ever Played. In: March 26, 2019, accessed June 23, 2020 .
  2. a b Stateside Staff, Josh Hakala: 20 years later, Kris Draper reflects on infamous “Brawl in Hockeytown”. In: March 23, 2017, accessed June 23, 2020 .
  3. Statistics at