The team was gathered in the dressing room, minutes before the game. We were cramped together, twenty-some guys in this room as wide as a bus, with a training table in the middle and three light bulbs hangin’ from the ceiling. Now, Jacques Caron (a goalie), he’s to the left of the door, first guy you’d see when you walk in. So when Eddie opens the door–what’s this?–he sees Caron cricking his neck trying to get loose for the game.
“Something wrong?” says Eddie Shore.
“No, no, no,” says Caron, real nervous. See Eddie liked to think he was a chiropractor. He wasn’t, of course. And man, those back rubs, they were torture.
“On the table, Mr. Caron,” Eddie shouts.
“No, no, I’m fine.”
“You’ve got a crick in your neck. I’m going to relieve the pain. Now get on the goddamn table!”
Jacques, you could see he was scared of the backrub, but he was more scared of Shore so he jumped on the table. Now Eddie, he gets those big hands around Jacques’ neck and says “R-E-L-A-X, R-E-L-A-X” which is impossible under the circumstances, right?
Anyway, Eddie keeps yanking and pulling on Jacques’ neck, and Caron he’s so stiff, his arse hops off the table everytime Eddie yanks. “Keep your arse down and “R-E-L-A-X!” Eddie yells. Now Jacques starts screaming he’s so upset and worried, “EDDIE” he’s yelling back and the rest of us guys, well the room is so small we’re only a couple of feet away, right?
We’re all trying not to laugh because this strikes us as funny. Finally, when Shore starts to get really mad and is yanking at Jacques’ neck like he’s strangling him, Dennis Olson, our best forward, pipes up “Hey Eddie, one of those necks ever come off in your hand?”
(courtesy the Last Hurrah, by Stephen Cole)