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Interview with Henry Boucha, Ojibway hockey legend

Dorreen Yellow Bird of The Grand Forks Herald interviews Henry Boucha, an Ojibway from Canada, who was the country's top hockey prospect in the 1970s until his career was ended by another player who attacked him on the ice.

Yellow Bird: "I was astounded when I read that in 1975, you were attacked by another hockey player on the ice and jabbed in the eye with the butt end of a hockey stick. Can you tell us about it?"

Boucha: "The attitude of the National Hockey League is that anything goes. It has happened several other times. But my case was the first time it went to criminal court for something somebody did on the ice.

In my opinion, it was a premeditated assault with a deadly weapon. The other player was charged with aggravated assault. That resulted in a hung jury. The league gave him a 10-game suspension without pay. I couldn't get any help from the player's association at that time.

The big criminal case was going on that summer; it was highly publicized. That was a first for professional sports, to have one player go on trial for assaulting another during a game. It was the first time such a thing was brought to criminal court.

When I was 25, it was all over."

Get the Story:
PRAIRIE VOICES: A living legend (The Grand Forks Herald 3/27)