Red Wings-Avalanche Brawl of 1997

During the 1996 NHL Western Conference Finals, Colorado Avalanche player Claude Lemieux layed a dirty hit on Detroit Red Wing Kris Draper.  Lemieux checked Draps from behind and sent him flying into the boards face first.  Draper broke his jaw and suffered other injuries from the incident.  The hit went largely unanswered until March 26, 1997 at Joe Louis Arena.

That day, one of the bloodiest fights in NHL history ensued as Igor Larionov, Darren McCarty, Mike Vernon, Brendan Shanahan and other Red Wings more than evened the score.  It was a brawl for the ages.

Many believe the fight helped inspire the Red Wings to later win their first Stanley Cup Championship in forty years. 

Watch this incredible video clip that captures the entire affair.  It’s a wonder no one went to jail.