When Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Darius Kasparaitis plastered Philadelphia Flyers star center Eric Lindros on March 7, 1998, it forever altered Lindros’ career. Kasparaitis planted his shoulder directly into Lindor’s chest as Lindros crossed the blue line at full speed. Lindros was immediately concussed, and it took several minutes for trainers to help him off the ice. The devastating hit also was the first in a series of significant concussions which derailed Hall of Fame center’s career.
In the meantime, the Pittsburgh cameras caught Kasparaitis and Alexei Morozov laughing at the Penguins bench.
“The cameras caught ‘Kasper’ and Alexei laughing. Philadelphia saw it. Everyone saw it,” former Penguins winger Robby Brown told PHN. “It wasn’t a good look. The Flyers took that to heart.”
And there would be repercussions.
PHN and Brown chatted for an hour about the famous 1989 Penguins vs. Flyers playoff series in which Mario Lemieux scored five goals, and goalie Ron Hextall chased Brown after the ninth Penguins goal. The conversation veered from the ’89 roller coaster to Brown’s second ride on the Penguins merry-go-round.
As the memories flooded back, the locker room stories started, including the locker room conversations and the coming consequences after Kasparaitis drilled Lindros.
Brown not only played with Mario Lemieux, but Brown also fondly recalled playing on a line with Ron Francis in Hartford, and the importance of having players who stir the pot, like the famous, or infamous, Ulf Samuelsson.
But the Kasparitis hit on Lindros could have directly affected Brown.