Teammates Behaving Badly
Earlier this week a sports blogger Terez Owens started an erroneous rumor that Cleveland Cavalier Delonte West was having an affair with teammate LeBron James’s mom Gloria. According to the rumor, James found out before game four of the series and that was the reason for the Cavaliers poor play for the remainder of the series. While it’s pretty farfetched that Delonte West had an affair with LeBron James’s mom Gloria, it wouldn’t be the first time that a teammate ruined locker room chemistry with someone close to a teammate. Sleeping with a teammate’s wife is the ultimate locker room taboo but it occurs more often than many of us realize.
Earlier this season, TheBigLead.com reported on a story gleaned from various message boards about an affair occurring in the Philadelphia Flyers dressing room between star forward, Jeff Carter and the wife of teammate Scott Hartnell. That affair resulted in the Flyers losing 11 of 14 games and dropping almost out of playoff contention. It must have resolved itself as the Flyers are about to begin their Eastern Conference finals series against the Habs.
While NBA players have the reputation for being slick with the ladies, NHL players seem to have no trouble of their own pulling women and on more than a few occasions have crossed the ultimate blue line and slept with a teammate’s wife. I’m not sure what it is about wanting to cross that barrier, maybe the guy pissed you off and you just wanted a piece of revenge or it could be the type of women these guys are attracting.
Growing up we had a few terms we used, hockey whores or puck bunnies, these girls would only date hockey players and the better you were on the ice, the better class of puck bunny was going to be on your arm.
Let’s have a look at some affairs you might know about a few you likely didn’t.
Gary Leeman 3==> Al Iafrate’s Wife
This story I have first had knowledge of as my mom used to have her hair cut by Al Iafrate’s cousin in a small town in Ontario. So this is my retelling of the story that he told me. Al Iafrate came home to find his wife Melissa in bed with teammate Gary Leeman, Al taking it as well as most men, called best friend and Leafs enforcer John Kordic, Kordic beat the crap out of Leeman and Leeman missed significant time that season due to injuries caused by the fight. The Leafs couldn’t trade Leeman, as he was their leading scorer at the time, so they shipped out Iafrate to solve the locker room mess.
Jeff Brown 3====> Kirk Mclean
This one is a Vancouver fan favorite, Canucks defensemen Jeff Brown slept with star goalie Kirk McLean’s wife. There are no real details of what led to the hookup but there was plenty of fallout.
As the rumors swelled, Kirk McLean denied the rumors at an interview DURING A PERIOD INTERMISSION. Canucks coach Rick Ley scratched Brown before a game, meaning he would be in the press box watching, it might have been for his own protection. During the game Brown went on Radio and called the Coach “gutless” for scratching him. That was all the Canucks needed and Brown was shipped to the Hartford Whalers. While no hard prove is available, it should be noted that Jeff Brown was traded from Carolina before the team trade for Kirk McLean.
Back to the Leafs for a moment
Shayne Corson 3===> Alexander Mogilny’s wife
There must be something in the Toronto drinking water; apparently, in 2002 while Corson was injured he hooked up with Mogilny’s wife while the Leafs were on a road trip. This further divided an already fractured Leafs locker room. Corson left the team due to stress and nervous breakdowns and Mogilny missed a good portion of the season with personal problems. Leaf fans will remember 2002 was their last good shot at making the Stanley Cup finals and it all came down around them.
Mike Comrie 3====> Tommy Salo’s wife
During the 2002/03 season, the Edmonton Oilers Mike Comrie had an affair with their starting goaltender Tommy Salo’s wife. When Salo found out about the affair, the ex-Mrs. Salo packed up the kids and moved back to Sweden. Salo obviously missed his kids and let his play suffer. GM Kevin Lowe didn’t know about the affair and the possible “Elin Woods Effect” effect it would have on his goalie, picked up a $3.9 Million contract option. After Kevin Lowe found out about the affair, he decided to play hardball with Comrie during his free agent negotiation forcing Comrie to hold out for part of the season. Tommy Salo was horrible that season and without Mike Comrie the Oilers results were horrible as fans found out the reasons, Comrie was held responsible and is still booed in Edmonton when he returns as a visitor.
Martin Brodeur 3======> Martin Brodeur’s wife’s Sister
Marty Broduer is arguably the greatest goalie in the history of the game and unlike the other goalies on the list, his wife wasn’t getting a little from a teammate, rather he was sleeping with his wife’s sister. His wife found out about it right in the middle of the New Jersey Devils run to the Cup. Marty shook off the distraction and the Devils won the cup that year. Brodeur has since married his former sister-in-law. One positive is that he doesn’t need to prove himself to a new set of in-laws.
Those are just a few stories but as long as men have testosterone and there are Puck Bunnies out there, we will hear many of these stories of NHL players sleeping with their teammates wives. Now if Terez Owens started a rumor about Marc Savard sleeping with half of the wives of the Boston Bruins and that’s why the Bruins lost to the Flyers after leading 3 games to none it would have been more believable.