Brendan Witt has had a pretty long, successful career as a tough-as-nails, gritty, shut-down type NHL defenseman. Not really one of my favorite players, but always good at what he does, even now into his 30s with the Islanders. When you think Brendan Witt, you generally think, "tough."
Today, however, the man raised the bar for NHL tough guys everywhere.
While walking to a Starbucks in Philly before practice this morning, Witt was struck by a car that made an illegal left turn. He tried to jump and hit the car's hood, sliding across the front of the car before being tossed to the pavement.
Naturally, a crowd gathered. Witt stood up, dusted himself up, and noticed the horrified onlookers. The following is a direct quote from this article on tsn.ca:
"'I'm okay,' Witt told the crowd as he dusted himself off, according to Newsday. 'I've got to go play some hockey. I'm a hockey player. I'm okay. No big deal.'"
One eye witness explained that it was "like seeing Clint Eastwood, but in hockey."
Witt played in tonight's game vs. the Flyers. Noted hockey blog Puck Daddy wondered today whether or not this was an attempt by the hockey gods in Philadelphia to try to shake the Flyers out of their funk. (I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have suggested this had Witt actually been hurt, by the way) Now obviously, I don't believe in the existence of hockey gods.
If they did exist, however, this is exactly the sort of thing that Philadelphia Flyer hockey gods would do.