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Chelios reflects on bout with Hextall

by Dan Rosen

TORONTO -- Fans of the Philadelphia Flyers likely haven't forgotten when goalie Ron Hextall attacked Chris Chelios, then with the Montreal Canadiens, near the end of Game 6 of the 1989 Wales Conference Final.

The Flyers were losing 4-2 and about to be eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs when Hextall went after Chelios as a matter of revenge for Chelios' high hit in Game 1 that left Brian Propp bleeding from the back of his head. Hextall got to Chelios along the wall and pummeled him with several blows. Once they were up, Hextall threw a piece of his equipment at Chelios, who was escorted off the ice.

The incident sparked a line brawl.

On Saturday during the Fan Forum at the Hall of Fame, Chelios was asked for his thoughts on Hextall.

"I know what he was thinking," Chelios said. "I had it coming for what I did to Propp. What goes around comes around. Thank God I saw him coming at the last second and got my head turned."

The Canadiens went on to win the series against Philadelphia before losing to the Calgary Flames in the Stanley Cup Final. Montreal got back to the playoffs in 1990 but lost in the second round and Chelios was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks.

"In Montreal, if you lose early in the playoffs either the coach is going or a player is going," Chelios said. "At that point the captains on that team went one after another, me, Carbo [Guy Carbonneau] and Mike Keane. I understood it. Had it not been Chicago, I probably would have been real disappointed. But the fact that I went home and played in front of my family and friends that I grew up with it helped a ton. I put that behind me."


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