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Pat Verbeek

Pat Verbeek played parts of six seasons with the Hartford Whalers. (Getty Images)

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Pat Verbeek played parts of six seasons with the Hartford Whalers. (Getty Images)

Status: NHL right winger played from 1982-2002 with New Jersey, Hartford, New York Rangers, Dallas and Detroit. Currently works as a pro scout for Detroit.

Ht: 5-foot-9 Wt: 190 pounds

DOB: May 24, 1964 In: Sarnia, Ont.

First Hockey Memory: "I think the first hockey memory I was able to enjoy as a kid was being able to go out and step outside to the backyard of my house and go skate every day on my own rink. We had our own rink. Being outside there and dreaming about being an NHL player one day, in your own rink."

Nicknames: "Probably the latest and the last one that probably stuck the best was 'Little Ball of Hate.' (From who?) Glenn Healy gave me that one when I started playing with the Rangers."

Hockey Inspirations: "Well, Bobby Orr was my favorite player. Then I got a little older and started playing forward, Bobby Clarke became one of my idols, as far as work ethic, his commitment to winning, his never-say-die attitude."

Favorite Movies: "There's a few. Probably one I watch every year is It's A Wonderful Life. That's a tradition I do every Christmas Eve."

Last Book Read: "Liberty & Tyranny."

Hobbies/Leisure Activities: "I like to do a lot of outdoor stuff – fishing, hunting. Bird hunting especially."

Current Car: "I drive a truck – Ford 350."

First Job(s): "Was working on the farm since I was a kid – that's when it began and it hasn't stopped. Other than that and playing hockey are the only jobs I've ever had – now I'm doing this job (pro scouting for Detroit)."

Favorite Meal: "Probably flank steak, the way my wife cooks flank steak."

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: "Chocolate."

Greatest Sports Moment: "It's hard to say. I think from a team standpoint, winning the Stanley Cup ('99 with Dallas) was probably the best feeling and moment that you can possibly feel. I think scoring my 500th goal (vs. Calgary) was a pretty cool thing for me at the time. And probably scoring on a penalty shot – that was kind of fun. If I were to rank them – the Stanley Cup, the 500th, then scoring the penalty shot was pretty cool (vs. Rangers/Vanbiesbrouck in '88)."

Most Painful Moment: "Probably the worst was the last game I ever played (2002). I tore the groin muscle off the bone. It was kind of a funny play. And that was the last time I ever played (vs. Columbus)."

Favorite Uniforms: "I'm partial to the Original Six. I like all the Original Six."

Funny Hockey Memory: "Probably one of the weirdest memories – I don't know if you remember when the referees went on strike in the playoffs against Boston that one year. Do you remember that? (Yeah, Koharski/Schoenfeld/donut.) Yeah. (Is he here?) Yeah, he's here. He was the reason the referees went on strike. Newell wouldn't referee. I don't know who the linesmen were that particular time, but we had no referee. Then the game had to go on. And we had the guys come out who were our off-ice officials. We knew them a little bit, from refereeing local hockey in the New Jersey area. They come out with the yellow practice jerseys. And watching those guys walk through our locker room and watching Ken Daneyko inside our locker room after that was pretty funny. That kind of set the tone and made us relax a little bit. We needed to win that to force a Game 7 and we ended up winning.”

Closest Hockey Friends: "I know so many people. I can't really give you an answer on that one."

Funniest Players Encountered: "Probably Aaron Broten would rank up there. His humor was really dry and he'd keep the straightest face you've ever seen. He used to have me laughing all the time. He comes to mind first."

Toughest Competitor: "Probably Scott Stevens. Playing with Jersey, he was with Washington. He probably was the fiercest competitor I ever played against."

Strangest Game: "Probably the worst game I ever played in was with New Jersey when we lost 13-4 (to Edmonton). The scary part was we were winning 4-2 with 30 minutes left to go in the game. That was the weirdest one. (What happened?) Gretzky just decided to turn it on. He ended up with eight points. And I couldn't figure out why he was pushing so hard. I understand now why he was pushing so hard – it was because he wanted the most points in a game. Darryl Sittler had that record. And he came close."

Most Memorable Goal: "I think scoring in the final in Game 6 was very memorable for me. Because it kind of iced the game and it put us up three games to two, to go back to Buffalo, to try to win the Stanley Cup. It's a pretty memorable moment."

Embarrassing Hockey Memory: "I scored on my own net once. Won a faceoff so clean – we had our goalie pulled – and I won the faceoff so clean it went right between my two defensemen and all the way back into the net (with New Jersey vs. Hartford)."

Favorite Arena: "I enjoyed playing in Edmonton probably because I had a lot of success there. I also always liked going to the old Maple Leaf Gardens. That was always fun. The old Chicago Stadium was a lot of fun, too. Even the Boston Garden games were fun for me because there was always a lot of – it's going to be a physical game – and I kind of liked playing in those games."

Personality Qualities Most Admired: "One of the things that attracts me is if I see a good work ethic. I guess commitment in what they do. I like that. And just being a good person. Just being a real honest, good person."

Career Accomplishments: Won one Stanley Cup; only player in NHL history to total more than 500 career goals and 2,500 PIM; 522 career goals, 541 assists for 1,063 points (2,905 PIM); in playoffs, registered 26 goals and 36 assists for 62 points in 117 games.

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Mark Malinowski's first book "Heavyweight Armageddon: The Lewis-Tyson Championship Battle" is available at amazon.com. For more features from the world of sports, check out thebiofile.com.

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