Marty McSorley, an NHL enforcer who has spent a career in penalty boxes, goes on trial today for assault with a weapon: his hockey stick.
McSorley, who spent much of his career with Edmonton and Los Angeles playing with Wayne Gretzky, will be making the first criminal appearance for an on-ice attack by an NHL player since Dino Ciccarelli, then with the Minnesota North Stars, was sentenced in 1988.
Ciccarelli received one day in jail and a $1,000 fine for striking Toronto's Luc Richardson several times in the head with his stick.
McSorley hit Donald Brashear of the Vancouver Canucks on the side of the head during a Feb. 21 game while playing for the Boston Bruins. Brashear suffered a concussion and returned to play near the end of last season.
McSorley was suspended by the NHL for the final 23 games of the season, losing about $70,000. He remains an unrestricted free agent and still must meet with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman before he is cleared to play if a team decides it wants to negotiate with him.