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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

May 24--Pat Verbeek

Pat Verbeek

Selected in third round by New Jersey, number 43 overall in the 1982 NHL Draft.(Drafted by former Colorado Rockies team that had already committed to moving to New Jersey for 1982-83 season. The team, however, had no official name at the time Verbeek was drafted)

His nickname, "The Little Ball of Hate", was given to him in 1995 by Glenn Healy after fellow New York Rangers teammate Ray Ferraro was tagged as the "Big Ball of Hate".

A bizarre farming accident nearly cost Verbeek half of his left thumb during the 1985 off-season. On May 15, 1985, while working on a corn-planting machine (auger) on his 200-acre farm near Forest, Ontario, Verbeek had his thumb cut off between the knuckles. In addition, three fingers on his left hand were severely lacerated. The accident happened while Verbeek was reaching into a fertilizer bin to prevent a stray piece of paper from finding its way into the system and damaging equipment. In doing this, he slipped into the machinery. His left hand went directly into the moving auger, which sliced off his thumb and cut into his fingers. The injury was a clear threat to his hockey career, but swift reaction by Verbeek's brother Brian saved the day. Brian immediately loaded Pat into his truck and rushed him 20 miles to St. Joseph's Hospital in Sarnia, Ontario. Unfortunately, they did not bring the severed portion of Verbeek's thumb with them. Once they reached the hospital, Brian Verbeek phoned home and told his father, Gerry Verbeek, to go out to Pat's farm and look for the thumb in one of four fertilizer bins where it would have landed. Gerry Verbeek promptly found the thumb and transported it to the hospital, where doctors managed to surgically re-attach it. The microsurgery operation took six hours, and literally saved Verbeek's career. After the operation, Verbeek went to University Hospital in London, Ontario, where he underwent physical therapy to regain the use of his hand. By August, he was able to lift weights, and he later made it through New Jersey's 1985 training camp with no problems

1983-2002New Jersey, Hartford,
NYR, Dallas, Detroit
1988-2001New Jersey, Hartford,
NYR, Dallas, Detroit

Verbeek is currently employed as a pro scout with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He previously served as pro scout with the Detroit Red Wings.

Received these black ink signed cards TTM.

1 comment:

  1. I do not know if I watched this guy before. But I could have watched him play ice hockey before.