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The 12 Times NHL Goalies Scored Goals Themselves

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New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur, who has helped lead his team to the Stanley Cup Finals, is part of an exclusive club. Brodeur is one of 10 goalies who has scored a goal in an NHL game and one of two goalies who has scored twice. Here’s the complete list.

1. Billy Smith, 1979

Smith, who led the New York Islanders to four straight Stanley Cups from 1980-83, became the first goalie in NHL history to score a goal in a game against Colorado. The Rockies pulled their goalie for an extra skater after the Islanders were called for a delayed penalty and Smith deflected a shot behind the net. Colorado’s Rob Ramage retrieved it and attempted to swing the puck back to a teammate on the blue line, but his pass missed the mark and rolled all the way down the ice and into his own team’s empty net. Smith, the last Islanders player to touch the puck, was credited with the goal. “One day I’ll be able to say whatever I want,” Smith told the New York Times in 1982. “I’ll tell people I shot the puck in.”

2 & 3. Ron Hextall, 1987 and 1989

Hextall, who played 11 of his 13 seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, became the first NHL goalie to shoot and score a goal. With Philadelphia leading Boston 4-2, the Bruins pulled their goalie. Hextall corralled a loose puck to the left of the net and fired a 180-foot shot into the empty net. “I knew I had to get height on it to get it over a couple of guys,” Hextall said after the game. “I’d rather score a goal than get a shutout… I’m thinking about asking the coach to put me on the power play.”

Two years later, Hextall tallied a shorthanded goal in an 8-5 win over the Washington Capitals in the playoffs. “I don't know how many I'll score, but it's always a thrill.”

4. Chris Osgood, 1996

It would be seven years before another NHL goalie scored a goal. Osgood turned the trick against the Hartford Whalers, scoring an empty-net goal in the waning seconds of the Detroit Red Wings’ 4-2 win. “I went for it,” Osgood told reporters. “I had a chance in Toronto earlier this season and I was joking that the next time I had it I would shoot. I didn't look, I just shot it.”

5 & 6. Martin Brodeur, 1997 and 2000

Brodeur’s first career goal and the fifth by a goalie in NHL history came in a playoff win over the Montreal Canadiens. With New Jersey leading 4-2 late in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, the Canadiens pulled their goalie. Brodeur lifted a loose puck the length of the ice and into the empty net. “I was freaking out,” Brodeur said. “It was unbelievable . . . When I shot it, it went over everyone and I kind of lost it. Then I saw John MacLean raise his arms up and I said, ‘Wow. It's got to go in if he's doing that.’ Guys in front of me went on the side and I saw it go in.”

Brodeur’s second career goal came on a delayed penalty. The Flyers pulled their goalie and Brodeur was the last Devils player to touch the puck before Philadelphia’s Daymond Langkow accidentally put the puck in his own net.

7. Damian Rhodes, 1999

Brodeur had a rink-side seat for the seventh goal scored by an NHL goalie. After Brodeur headed to the bench on a delayed penalty call, Lyle Odelein’s errant pass found the back of New Jersey’s empty net. Rhodes, the last Ottawa Senators player to touch the puck, was credited with the goal. It was a good night for Rhodes, who shut out the Devils in a 6-0 win.

8. Jose Theodore, 2001

Theodore’s seventh career shutout was a memorable one, as he fired a back-handed shot into an empty net with nine seconds left in Montreal’s 3-0 win over the New York Islanders. “It was awesome,” Theodore said. “I clear the puck better with my backhand, and I just gave it a high arch. I was just trying to clear the zone. I was jumping all over the place. We got the win and the shutout, and I got a goal. It was a pretty good night for me.”

9. Evgeni Nabokov, 2002

Nabokov’s goal wasn’t quite as fluky as most of the goals on this list. With the Sharks on the power play and protecting a two-goal lead late in a game against Vancouver, Nabokov corralled a loose puck in front of his net and lofted a shot down the ice that found its way into the Canucks’ empty net. “I'm going to lie if I say it wasn't exciting,” he said.

10. Mika Noronen, 2004

Noronen entered the game after Buffalo’s starting goalie, Martin Biron, was pulled with Toronto leading 3-0 midway through the second period. The Sabres stormed back to take a 5-4 lead and Toronto pulled its goalie for an extra attacker late in the third period. Noronen deflected a shot by the Maple Leafs’ Robert Reichel into the corner. Reichel regained possession and fired a pass to the center of the zone, which trickled all the way down the ice and into his own goal. “This is my first one and hopefully not the last one,” Noronen said.

11. Chris Mason, 2006

Mason was credited with a goal on a delayed penalty when Phoenix’s Geoff Sanderson passed the puck into an empty net. “It was a cheesy goal,” said Mason, whose Nashville Predators defeated the Coyotes 5-1. “I don't even like counting one like that as a goal.”

12. Cam Ward, 2011

Ward, who became the 10th NHL goalie to score a goal, also did it in a cheesy way. The Hurricanes goalie was credited with a goal by virtue of being the last Carolina player to touch the puck before New Jersey’s Ilya Kovalchuk passed the puck into his own net. “It would have been a lot cooler if I had shot the puck or did something like that,” Ward said.

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Big Questions
Who Was Chuck Taylor?
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From Betty Crocker to Tommy Bahama, plenty of popular labels are "named" after fake people. But one product with a bona fide backstory to its moniker is Converse's Chuck Taylor All-Star sneakers. The durable gym shoes are beloved by everyone from jocks to hipsters. But who's the man behind the cursive signature on the trademark circular ankle patch?

As journalist Abraham Aamidor recounted in his 2006 book Chuck Taylor, All Star: The True Story of the Man behind the Most Famous Athletic Shoe in History, Chuck Taylor was a former pro basketball player-turned-Converse salesman whose personal brand and tireless salesmanship were instrumental to the shoes' success.

Charles Hollis Taylor was born on July 24, 1901, and raised in southern Indiana. Basketball—the brand-new sport invented by James Naismith in 1891—was beginning to take the Hoosier State by storm. Taylor joined his high school team, the Columbus High School Bull Dogs, and was named captain.

After graduation, instead of heading off to college, Taylor launched his semi-pro career playing basketball with the Columbus Commercials. He’d go on to play for a handful of other teams across the Midwest, including the the Akron Firestone Non-Skids in Ohio, before finally moving to Chicago in 1922 to work as a sales representative for the Converse Rubber Shoe Co. (The company's name was eventually shortened to Converse, Inc.)

Founded in Malden, Massachusetts, in 1908 as a rubber shoe manufacturer, Converse first began producing canvas shoes in 1915, since there wasn't a year-round market for galoshes. They introduced their All-Star canvas sports shoes two years later, in 1917. It’s unclear whether Chuck was initially recruited to also play ball for Converse (by 1926, the brand was sponsoring a traveling team) or if he was simply employed to work in sales. However, we do know that he quickly proved himself to be indispensable to the company.

Taylor listened carefully to customer feedback, and passed on suggestions for shoe improvements—including more padding under the ball of the foot, a different rubber compound in the sole to avoid scuffs, and a patch to protect the ankle—to his regional office. He also relied on his basketball skills to impress prospective clients, hosting free Chuck Taylor basketball clinics around the country to teach high school and college players his signature moves on the court.

In addition to his myriad other job duties, Taylor played for and managed the All-Stars, a traveling team sponsored by Converse to promote their new All Star shoes, and launched and helped publish the Converse Basketball Yearbook, which covered the game of basketball on an annual basis.

After leaving the All-Stars, Taylor continued to publicize his shoe—and own personal brand—by hobnobbing with customers at small-town sporting goods stores and making “special appearances” at local basketball games. There, he’d be included in the starting lineup of a local team during a pivotal game.

Taylor’s star grew so bright that in 1932, Converse added his signature to the ankle patch of the All Star shoes. From that point on, they were known as Chuck Taylor All-Stars. Still, Taylor—who reportedly took shameless advantage of his expense account and earned a good salary—is believed to have never received royalties for the use of his name.

In 1969, Taylor was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. The same year, he died from a heart attack on June 23, at the age of 67. Around this time, athletic shoes manufactured by companies like Adidas and Nike began replacing Converse on the court, and soon both Taylor and his namesake kicks were beloved by a different sort of customer.

Still, even though Taylor's star has faded over the decades, fans of his shoe continue to carry on his legacy: Today, Converse sells more than 270,000 pairs of Chuck Taylors a day, 365 days a year, to retro-loving customers who can't get enough of the athlete's looping cursive signature.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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Pop Culture
The Time a Wrestling Fan Tried to Shoot Bobby Heenan in the Ring
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For a man who didn't wrestle much, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan wound up becoming more famous than a lot of the men flexing in the squared circle. The onscreen manager of several notable grapplers, including André the Giant and “Ravishing” Rick Rude, Heenan died on Sunday at the age of 73. His passing has led to several tributes recalling his memorable moments, from dressing up in a weasel suit to hosting a short-lived talk show on TNT.

While Heenan’s “heel” persona was considered great entertainment, there was a night back in 1975 when he did his job a little too well. As a result, an irate fan tried to assassinate him in the ring.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Heenan was appearing at the International Amphitheater in Chicago as part of the now-defunct AWA wrestling promotion when his performance began to grate on the nerves of an unnamed attendee seated on the floor. Eyewitnesses described the man as friendly up until wrestlers Verne Gagne and Nick Bockwinkel started their bout with Heenan at ringside in Bockwinkel’s corner.

“Get Heenan out of there,” the fan screamed, possibly concerned his character would interfere in a fair contest. Heenan, known as “Pretty Boy” at the time, began to distract the referee, awarding an advantage to his wrestler. When the official began waving his arms to signal Heenan to stop interrupting, the fan apparently took it as the match being over and awarded in Bockwinkel’s favor. He drew a gun and began firing.

The man got off two shots, hitting three bystanders with one bullet and two more with the other before running out of the arena. (No fatalities were reported.) Security swarmed the scene, getting medical attention for the injured and escorting both Heenan and the wrestlers to the back.

According to Heenan, the shooter was never identified by anyone, and he was brazen enough to continue attending wrestling cards at the arena. ("Chicago really took that 'no snitching' thing to heart back then," according to Uproxx.)

Heenan went on to spend another 30 years in the business getting yelled at and hit with chairs, but was never again forced to dodge a bullet.

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