By Adam Kozak
Dec. 4, 1990, is a day Grant Marshall will never forget. He was 17 years old playing in his first season in the Ontario League with the Ottawa 67’s when he was viciously checked from behind by Jason Young in a game against the Sudbury Wolves. The hit left him with a broken neck and temporary paralysis. In the blink of an eye, his NHL dream was put on hold.
“At that point I was so scared,” Marshall says. “I couldn’t move. My life was turned upside down.”
There are several truly remarkable footnotes on the career of Jean-Guy Talbot.
In Quebec junior hockey in 1952, Talbot’s errant stick to the head of 19-year-old William ‘Scotty’ Bowman left the player with recurring headaches. That led to Bowman becoming tentative on the ice, which eventually pushed him toward the most successful coaching career in NHL history.
After Talbot turned pro, he won the Stanley Cup in each of his first five NHL seasons, a feat shared only by teammates Henri Richard, Claude Provost and Bob Turner. Led by Rocket Richard and Jean Beliveau, the Montreal Canadiens won the first of five consecutive Cups in 1955-56.