ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Stateline hockey fans were greeted with a treat Sunday night when the Rockford IceHogs received a shout-out on the hit HBO show “Barry”.
During Sunday’s episode, hitman Barry Berkman (Bill Hader) is driving through Los Angeles with the radio on, when the host of the fictitious podcast he’s listening to, references the Chicago Blackhawks AHL affiliate.
The host of the show, hockey goon-turned-man of the cloth Pastor Nick St. Angelo (voiced by comedian Bill Burr) references that time in 1997 when he was sentenced for killing an IceHogs opponent during an exhibition game.
So, that begs the question, did a Rockford IceHogs player really kill a member of the opposing team in retaliation for injuring one of his teammates during an exhibition game?
Short answer. No.
“I can confirm that what Pastor Nick describes is a complete work of fiction. Matter of fact, throughout the history of the franchise, there hasn’t even been a Nick St. Angelo on the team and the team didn’t start playing in Rockford until 1999,” Rockford IceHogs VP of Marketing Mike Peck said. “But if Bill Hader or Bill Burr ever find their way to the Forest City, we’d love to treat them to a Rockford IceHogs game.”
While Pastor Nick’s story is a complete fabrication (yes, we know, it’s from a television show), that’s not to say something like what Pastor Nick described on “Barry” hasn’t happened before.
In the 105-year history of the NHL, there have been countless fights that have led to injuries, but there’s only been one death that occurred on the ice.
In 1968, Minnesota North Stars center Bill Masterston suffered an internal brain injury and ultimately died following a full-speed collision with two opposing players. He was not wearing a helmet.