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The Price of Stanley Cup Hockey Glory

Bumps, bruises, fractures, missing teeth and facial rearrangements are an almost every-game occurrence for NHL players in their mad quest for silver glory that is the Stanley Cup. Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland observes: "Two months of playoffs will age a player more than an 82-game regular season."

For instance, the Anaheim Duck's Ryan Getzlaf's cratered face took a puck to the chin during a playoff game on April 16, 2014. Doctors sewed him up. His face was "swollen and stitched, with a jagged line of sutures (doctors said there were too many to count) running from the right corner of his mouth to the left side of his jawbone." He sipped his meals through a straw the next day and played in the Duck's next game two days later wearing a face mask.

Former NHL star Wayne Gretzky said that's how you win championships. Immediately after being swept in 4 games in the finals to the New York Islanders, he visited the Islander locker room: "Guys were limping around with black eyes and bloody mouths. It looked more like a morgue in there than a champion's locker room. And here we were perfectly fine and healthy. That's why they won and we lost. They took more punishment than we did. … They sacrificed everything they had. And that's when (my teammate) Kevin Lowe said something I'll never forget. He said: 'That's how you win championships.'"

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