Marty McSorley: In Conversation

There is an old saying in sports – “He is the kind of player you love to have on your team, but the kind you really hate to play against.”  That description could just as well have been originally penned in reference to Marty McSorley.  A veteran of 19 pro hockey seasons, Marty was regarded as the ultimate team player, someone who would stick up for a teammate whenever the going got tough.  If you don’t believe that characterization, just ask Wayne Gretzky! Marty was never the kind to shy away from any type of challenge on the ice and now he is standing up yet again to the challenge of cancer.

The 2-time Stanley Cup champion played for 6 teams during his career, amassing over 1000 regular season and playoff games.  It has been almost 2 decades since he last appeared in the NHL, and Marty has gone on to a productive post hockey career.  He has many acting roles to his credit in addition to several commercial spots, plus broadcasting work as well.  In addition, Marty stays active with a variety of philanthropic and charity initiatives. You can appreciate that this is one former pro who has not slowed down after hockey.  Unfortunately, like so many of his NHL brethren, Marty has been witness to the effects of cancer within his own family, among friends and teammates as well.

“There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to where it might strike, and in what form.  We lost a very good friend, Dave Semenko (former Oilers teammate) who appeared to be a relatively young, healthy and active man, to cancer just last year.  My mother passed away at the age of 56 after having raised 10 children.  You cannot make sense of such events, yet they keep happening.  There are questions that need to be answered if we are going to beat cancer, and solid grass roots research is our best bet.  The Play for a Cure idea will greatly assist in that regard.”

Marty is looking forward to being with some of his former NHL colleagues, plus all the local players and volunteers.  He is proud of the fact that so many NHL alumni make the effort to attend such events as a way of contributing to the cause.

“All of us are very thankful for people such as Jeff and his entire team of volunteers. This is going to be a wonderful experience for everyone involved.”

Marty is married to former pro beach volleyball player Leanne Schuster, and the two are proud parents of three children while currently residing in Heromsa Beach, California.

Thank you, Marty McSorley, for helping with Play for a Cure.  All of us in Essex County are anxious to see you patrol the ice once more during your stay in our area.


Vern Stenlund


P.S. Marty had one final message for an old teammate.  “Tell Rychel (Warren) that when I’m in Windsor I won’t be sticking up for him like I used to”.  The laughter is loud and long before the phone goes silent!

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