Right call for Hall

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:03 AM ET

Pat Quinn gave him the most lip, the Sutter brothers had some pretty smart one-liners and the Philadelphia Flyers of the 1970s gave him headaches.

Linesman Ray Scapinello heard and saw everything NHL coaches and players had to offer during his 33 years as a linesman, and Scapinello easily could tell stories long into the night.

"I loved Pat Quinn," Scapinello, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame last night, said. "But Pat would start on me from the start of the game, until it was over. But he never crossed the line to where I had to nail him for a bench minor.

"One night, I was standing between the players' benches. And he is just giving it to me. I looked at him and said, 'Pat, you are just beating me down. I used to think I was a good linesman until I ran into you.' He put his hands in his pockets, started to walk away, looked back and said, 'Ah, you're a pretty good linesman.' "

Hockey players often keep their guard up off the ice, but on the ice, it was different.

"They are the funniest guys in the world, they have the best one-liners and I don't know where they come up with them," Scapinello said.

A favourite?

"The Sutter brothers," Scapinello said. "The oldest one (Brian) that played for Chicago, the young ones were playing (for the New York Islanders) and the play went into the corner. They're pushing and shoving, and the older one grabbed one of the younger ones by the arm and said, 'Get out of here now, or I will kick the (stuffing) out of you just like I do at home."

Flyers captain Bob Clarke was among the more business-like players and never wanted to talk. Neither did Glenn Anderson, who went into the Hall with Scapinello and was of "the Mark Messier mould" in that regard.

IRONMAN

Scapinello was hit by slapshots and took errant punches to the head, but amazingly, never missed a game in 33 years in the NHL. The closest he came occurred when a flight from Toronto to New York was sent back to Toronto because of windy conditions in New York, and he had to catch a flight to Philadelphia and make his way to Long Island -- all on the day of a game. Scapinello got to the rink with the game in play, dressed, banged on the glass to let his replacement, Richard Trottier, know he was there, and hit the ice during the action.

"I was fortunate that if I got hurt, it would be on a Sunday and I would not have to work until the Thursday," Scapinello said. "My dad was 87 years old and never missed a day of work. It was in the genes."


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