Luc Robitaille Says The Habs 1993 Cup Win Has A Secret

Tony Gallagher in the Vancouver Province tells us some very interesting information regarding the 1993 Marty McSorley stick-measuring incident that changed the momentum for the Habs, who then went on to take series and win the Stanley Cup.

First, a recap:

The 1993 final  had the LA Kings winning game 1 and were leading by a goal late in game 2 when Canadiens coach Jacques Demers called for a measurement of McSorley’s stick. The stick was found illegal, the Habs scored on the power play, and then won in overtime to tie the series.

If not for this stick measurement, the Kings would have gone back to LA leading the series 2-0 and very possibly winning the Stanley Cup.

Now, Gallagher, after a conference call with Luc Robitaille, who played for the Kings at this time, tells us certain things that have come out. “There’s been a lot of water under the bridge, and I know for a fact it wasn’t blind,” says Robitaiile now, meaning the Habs already knew the stick was illegal before the measurement took place. “But I don’t think anyone will ever admit to it.”

The story is this: A policeman whose job it was to make sure nobody goes onto the visiting team’s bench at the Forum during the intermission breaks was either paid off or acted out of hometown loyalty, but for whatever reason decided to look the other way while a Habs trainer looked through the Kings’ stick rack and found the illegal stick.

The policeman later on, close to death, didn’t want to take the guilt of his secret to his grave, and confessed to Robitaille during a phone call.

Robitaille, for his part, doesn’t admit publicly to the phone call because he doesn’t want to use the policeman’s name which would serve no purpose now. And he didn’t want to be accused of sour grapes. “Actually, there’s beena couple of people who told me,” said Robitaille.

Gallagher makes a strong case that the Habs must have already known. “Consider, had the stick not been illegal the Habs would have received the penalty and Montreal would have kissed off any chance of coming back. Did Demers have that kind of jam to make that kind of call based on what one or two of his players might have thought on the ice?”

“Similarly, the Montreal players have all said they had no prior knowledge of the situation, but then they wouldn’t have needed any if the Habs trainer had been able to communicate directly with Demers after checking the Kings’ stick rack.”

“And why would Montreal players ever admit to such knowledge, given it would diminish their accomplishment of winning the Cup in the eyes of the public? It’s certainly not in their best interest to admit anything.”

Gallagher says “In a way it’s the NHL’s dirty little secret, the scandal that never seems to get out because it’s so old. But according to those who heard Robitaille tell the story of how he knows, it’s a public-relations bullet the league dodged, which would have made the NFL’s Patriots spying scandal look like a kindergarten squabble by comparison.”

17 thoughts on “Luc Robitaille Says The Habs 1993 Cup Win Has A Secret”

  1. That’s all fine and dandy and possibly true, but it was only one game. He’s talking a load of horse poop, that game gave the Habs so much momentum that they won the next three and the series in five, yeah right.

  2. well, i think that if the McSorley call had gone the other way, the Kings would have won the cup. I mean, i doubt even the Canadiens could have come back from a 2 game deficit. Even their own broadcaster said that the Kings would sweep the series if they won game 2

  3. Kings01 – Being down 2 games doesn’t mean they’d lose the series at all. The McSorley incident didn’t mean at all that the Habs would win or lose. Teams have come back from two games before. But you’re right, it did change everything.

  4. The McSorley call definetly changed the momentum in the series. The Kings never led a game after game 2.

  5. Well either way, although the 93 Habs had a better than average team, who just happened to click at the right time. Patrick Roy was the absolute reason why they won the cup. On top of winning 10 games in OT during the playoffs, he psyched LA so bad that they needed therapy when it was all said and done. Demers was asked time and time again about the call and he stated that one of his player had noticed that McSorley’ stick blade had to be illegal. There’s a hint. Use a proper stick and do not get a stupid penalty.

  6. Andre couldnt have said it any better. If he used a legal stick the whole situation would have been avoided. I also agree that it was more of Patrick Roy’s performance that won the habs the cup more so then the call on McSorley. I cant remember a time that a goalie dominated the playoffs more then Patrick Roy did in 93′.

  7. That’s right, Jordy. If peiople think McSorley’s stick made the difference in LA winning or losing the Cup, they’re wrong.

  8. I agree…. we could run through a “what if” scenario in practically every playoff series.

    What happened happened.

    Patrick Roy stole many games in that playoff run.

  9. If Kerry Fraser had called the game like he was supposed to, the Kings would have won game 2 since John Leclair was in the crease during the powerplay goal. Of course, if Fraser had called the game like he was supposed to in the Campbell Confrence Finals, the Leafs would have played the Habs for the Stanley Cup since Gretzky got away with high sticking Doug Gilmoure

  10. And, Wontonkings01, no slight to the Kings, but most Habs fans were biting at the bit to see a Habs-Leafs final. It would’ve been just like the old days.

  11. I might be the only one, but I believe Patrick Roy has been given too much credit for the comprehensive team defence that the Habs had in ’93. Yes, Patrick had nerves of steel to survive and win the 10 consecutive OTs but he had lots of help.
    The defence did an amazing job clearing away pucks and opposition players from in front of the net. That year Carbo and others redefined shot blocking by forwards. Fear of giving up breakaways severely hindered the opposition offence and once the OT streak got started it became self-fulfilling.

    Oh and if Robitaille wants to divulge secrets he should tell the one about how the league wanted Gretzky in the finals and definitely not 2 Canadian teams. Wait that’s no secret.

  12. The league would have loved Gretzky in the final, you’re absolutely right. I didn’t care about that, though. I wanted a Habs-Leafs final. Robitaille says he wanted to avoid sour grapes, but he seems to have them anyways.

  13. There you go. Christopher. Carbonneau said it was easy to spot. This should put an end to upset LA Kings and their thinking that Montreal cheated and the Kings woud’ve won if it wasn’t for that.

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