"Boxcar" Hospodar

Bowling Green, Ohio's Ed "Boxcar" Hospodar was an aggressive journeyman defenseman in the NHL from 1979 until 1988. At 6'2" and 210lbs he was one of the most intimidating blueliners and was a very willing fighter. Because of his lack of skating and puck skills, Ed was at best a 5th or 6th defenseman who was used primarily on penalty kills and when a tough guy was needed to send the other team a message.

Ed was drafted 34th overall by the New York Rangers in 1979. It was in New York that he first appeared in the NHL, playing parts of three seasons before he was traded to Hartford in exchange for Kent-Erik Andersson. His stay in Hartford was short (2 seasons) as he signed as a free agent with Philadelphia in 1984 where he played for a season and a half.

There is no sugar-coating it: Hospodar was a goon. While he was still with the Rangers his reputation as a top fighter was dismissed at the flailing hands of Clark Gillies. Hospodar's legacy was then reduced to that of a dirty player, sometimes a very dirty player. He once viciously speared Anton Stastny of the Quebec Nordiques, and in the 1987 Stanley Cup finals had Edmonton tough guys Dave Semenko and Kevin McClelland chasing him after a heavy handed hit on Mark Napier.

It was in those 1987 playoffs where Ed infamously made a name for himself. He sparked a pre-game brawl in the Conference finals between Montreal and Philadelphia. Claude Lemieux was a very superstitious guy and he liked to fire the puck into the oppositions net at the end of the pre-game skate. When he did this his team won more often than not. The Flyers took exception to this and tried many things to prevent this from happening, including taking the net off of its pegs and turning it around so he couldn't do it. But Claude persisted and would always do it.

Prior to the big game Ed and Flyers back up netminder Chico Resch decided they would make sure it wouldn't happen on that night. They stayed on the ice until Lemieux and teammate Shayne Corson left the ice. Finally the two Habs left, only to hide in the corridor. Hospodar and Resch retreated to their bench only to see Lemieux and Corson pop back on the ice and race towards the Philly net. Resch threw his stick at the puck, but to no avail. Hospodar had another idea - He charged after Lemieux and when he caught him he started pounding the Montreal player, much to everyone's surprise. When Lemieux wouldn't fight back, Hospodar charged after a more willing dance partner in Corson.

Word quickly reached both dressing rooms and all the players jumped on the ice and grabbed a partner. Some players were out on the ice without their skates as they had taken them off after the warm up. It was one of the worst bench clearing brawls in NHL history., and the game hadn't even started yet!

Ed, a very good open ice hitter, was claimed by the Buffalo Sabres in the pre-season waiver draft on October 5, 1987. The Sabres were looking to bulk up that season, and thus brought in Ed, Kevin Maguire, Bob Halkidis and Steven Dykstra. Because of injuries and the Ed only got into 42 games with the Sabres, picking up just 1 assist along with 98 penalty minutes.

After a 5 game stint in Rochester in 1988-89, Ed retired with 450 NHL games under his belt. In that time he picked up 17 goals, 68 points and 1314 penalty minutes. In 44 playoff showdowns, Ed picked up 4 goals, 1 assist and 208 penalty minutes.


Susan Groover 6:02 PM  

Hi Ed,
Just wanted to say hello to you. I will always remember when you coached Robert Baskow with the Junior Flyers team. You always made my husband and I so welcome during all of the games both at home and away on the road. Thanks.
Susan Groover
Millville, NJ

jeff 5:06 PM  

Hey Ed it's your cousin kyrie holla

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