March 26th, 1997 marks a special day in NHL history for all the right or wrong reasons depending on your stance on fighting in the NHL. Fifteen years ago today fans saw one of the biggest, most heated brawls in the modern NHL. The incident might be most remembered for the specific tussle between goaltender Patrick Roy and Mike Vernon.
It's important to remember the events leading up to the brawl featured in the video above. Back in the 1996 Western Conference Finals, Avalanche forward Claude Lemieux checked Detroit forward Kris Draper from behind, sending a mostly defenseless Draper into the boards face-first. As the Avs went on to win the series on their road to a Stanley Cup victory, Draper was forced to recover from surgery to repair breaks in his jaw, cheek and orbital bones.
It was clear that Detroit felt the hit crossed the line which caused them to carry over plenty of unresolved anger into the next season. Surprisingly, though the te...