Peter Worrell was kind enough to join us today on Up My Hockey.
Big Pete was not hard to find on the ice. He towered at 6’7” and weighed in at around 260 pounds. He played physical, using both his size and his fists to his advantage. And in case someone missed him visually, you could usually hear him, as he enjoyed some good trash talk as well.
Pete is a Caribbean-Canadian moving from Barbados with his parents to the Montreal area at the age of 3. Due to the color of his skin, Pete encountered prejudice and general stupidity throughout his time in minor hockey, junior hockey and in the professional ranks.
We cover race at the beginning of this episode because we needed to. We wanted to. And it should be a discussion you have with your family and friends as well.
I didn’t want the topic of race to overshadow Peter’s amazing career but we both felt it was important to discuss issues with hockey that are very relevant in the context of the protests occurring around the world.
Our sport is for everyone. Collectively we need to stand together and change the standards and expectations for those who are involved. From the coaches, to the players, to management, to the fans… hockey should be a place where your ethnicity is celebrated, not denigrated.
In this episode Peter tells an emotional story about an incident that occurred during his second NHL game with Craig Berube. I believe it highlights what needs to improve and what’s so amazing about the people that play our sport. I’ll leave the details for the episode, but you don’t want to miss it.
Peter Worrell wasn’t just a goon – he was a hockey player. He won a Memorial Cup and produced offensively averaging an impressive point per game average while amassing 495 penalty minutes in the process.
He led the NHL in penalty minutes one season as well, ending the 2001-02 campaign with 100 more PIM’s than second place. But he also averaged 9 minutes of ice time per game, which was much higher than most big men of his era. He could be trusted to make a play and get in on the forecheck and be responsible in his own end.
Big Pete ended his career with 391 NHL games, 19 goals, and 1554 penalty minutes. I’d say that’s a pretty damn good job for a young man from Barbados, wouldn’t you?!?!? Hockey is for everyone.
Enjoy the episode