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RIP John Brophy

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Love him or hate him.  For my part, he was a guy I loved to hate, a throwback to a bygone era of hockey where toughness played a huge part in the game.


This guy was a true character.  For many of us, the Raleigh Icecaps were our first triangle hockey love, and long before I was a Canes season ticket holder, I was a Icecaps season ticket holder.  The first thing you did when you saw the schedule was to circle the Hampton Roads Admirals games because Brophy and his band of goons were coming to town.  And I mean that in the most affectionate way possible, because you knew you were going to get a real game that night.  They always showed up to play, played very hard, and more times than not, they were going to whup your butts.  


He walked onto the ice and upended the goal after a Dorton Arena loss once.


He had some sort of altercation with a fair security guard on another occasion:





After that one, the next game in Raleigh, as soon as he entered the county, he was arrested and booked.

His response that evening when he coached the game was to wear a black cowboy hat.  I don't remember who won, but I do remember laughing at his response.  He was always the bad guy here, and I did love to hate him.


They spoke about him a lot on XM yesterday, mostly about his fiery approach to everything.  As far as I could see, they had it accurate.  The man was red faced and screaming more than any coach I had ever seen.  And he was a winner.


Rest in peace, John.

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I saw him coach a lot with the old ECHL Hampton Roads Admirals. He was a character and always entertaining to watch.

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