Five NHL Players to Make a Wrestling-Style Comeback

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Five NHL Players to Make a Wrestling-Style Comeback

Hockey, Hockey News

Consider a scenario, albeit fantastical, in which a former NHL player stages an unexpected comeback for a single night with their former team – steel chairs excluded, of course.

Whether you’re an enthusiast or not, professional wrestling stands as an audacious realm within the intersection of sports and entertainment. From battles waged within steel cages to an ‘undead’ wrestler boasting an undefeated streak spanning over two decades at WWE’s flagship event, WrestleMania, it’s a world that defies convention.

One of the most electrifying moments in wrestling is the element of surprise returns. A retired wrestler or someone who has been absent for months can make an unanticipated comeback. The most recent illustration of this occurred on Friday night during WWE Friday Night SmackDown when Hollywood icon and WWE legend Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson made a stunning return.

Imagine if such a scenario were possible in hockey – the ability to surprise an opposing team by introducing a former player in their prime for a pivotal moment. Let’s explore a few intriguing names who would add excitement to the ice in a surprise appearance:

  1. A Goaltender for a Game-Deciding Shootout Save: Henrik LundqvistCurrently immersed in analyzing NHL games at the MSG and TNT desks, Henrik Lundqvist remains a legendary figure for the New York Rangers. With a career record of 293 saves in shootout situations, he stands as the second all-time leader in shootout wins. Picture this: a game at Madison Square Garden reaching a shootout, and ‘King Henrik’ swiftly trades his suit for goaltender pads, stepping onto the ice to secure one last victory for his team.
  2. A Player to Conclude an Epic Shootout: Marek MalikRemember Marek Malik’s unforgettable shootout goal? While he may be best known for his defensive prowess, Malik’s shootout prowess earned him a place in NHL history. Imagine the spectacle as he returns to settle a lengthy shootout in dramatic fashion, replicating the magic that left fans in awe.

Perhaps the Rangers should consider going all out with a dynamic duo, featuring Lundqvist guarding the net and a surprising shootout specialist at the opposing end.

Back on November 26, 2005, the New York Rangers witnessed a historic moment during the 2005-06 season. Marek Malik, primarily known for his defensive skills, etched his name in hockey history. In the 15th round of an epic shootout, Malik stunned everyone with a between-the-legs shot that beat Washington Capitals’ goalie Olaf Kolzig, clinching the victory. This shootout stood as the longest in NHL history until December 16, 2014, when the Panthers and Capitals engaged in a remarkable 20-round shootout.

Just imagine the spectacle of concluding an intense shootout with the surprise return of Marek Malik. If he were to score once more for the Rangers, there’s no doubt he’d celebrate in the same iconic fashion, paying tribute to Lady Liberty.

Now, let’s consider adding another twist to the scenario: introducing a sharpshooter to swiftly secure a goal. Enter Alexander Mogilny, a player known for his lightning-quick strikes and scoring prowess.

Imagine this scenario: Your favorite team has been struggling with slow starts in games, desperately in need of a boost. Suddenly, Alexander Mogilny takes to center ice, ready to ignite the team.

Mogilny, the last player to tie the NHL record for the fastest goal to start a game, achieved this feat by scoring just five seconds into a December 1991 matchup between the Buffalo Sabres and Toronto. Such a lightning-quick start would undoubtedly set the tone and provide a tremendous burst of momentum.

Now, consider another thrilling twist: a special teams virtuoso emerging to deliver a much-needed power-play goal. Picture this player, with the most power-play goals in a single season in NHL history, descending from the rafters just before the puck drops in the offensive zone.

Tim Kerr’s remarkable achievement of 34 power-play goals for the Philadelphia Flyers during the 1985-86 season remains unmatched to this day, even though Leon Draisaitl came close with 32 during the 2022-23 campaign. In the realm of wrestling-inspired logic, age becomes irrelevant when it comes to a player’s ability to position themselves in front of the net, even if they happen to be 63 years old.

Lastly, when it comes to clutch moments, who else would a team turn to but the man known as ‘Mr. Game 7’? Justin Williams boasts the all-time record for points in Game 7s with 15 and is tied with Glenn Anderson for the most goals in these series-deciding games, with seven to his name.

Just imagine if, during the last post-season, the Seattle Kraken had surprised the Dallas Stars by announcing that coach Dave Hakstol was adding Justin Williams to the lineup for Game 7 of the second round. Such a move might have extended Seattle’s impressive second season one more round.

Reference:

https://thehockeynews.com/news/five-nhl-players-to-bring-back-in-a-wrestling-style-return

https://sportspyder.com/nhl/new-york-rangers/articles/44829144

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