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Henry Charles Boucha


Drafted by the Detroit Red Wings 16th overall in the 1971 NHL Amateur Draft and first overall by the Minnesota Fighting Saints in the 1971 WHA Amateur Draft. Boucha choose the Wings over the Saints and made his NHL debuts in 1971-72. Boucha was a talented goal scorer and good penalty killer; he and his trademark headband were very popular among Detroit fans. He was dealt to the Minnesota North Stars for Danny Grant. Boucha enjoyed some deserved success in his home state.

Melee after the first Dave Forbes-Henry Boucha fight, January 4, 1975.

At 8:22 of the first period of the Boston-Minnesota game on January 4, 1975, Dave Forbes checked Henry Boucha into the boards in the North Stars corner. Boucha took exception and suckered punched Forbes. A melee ensued which quickly died down. Terry O'Reilly was deemed to be the third man in and was given a game misconduct. Boucha and Forbes were each given seven penalty minutes and both went to the box without any overt animosity. However, as soon as their penalties expired and they took to the ice, Forbes butt ended Boucha in the face, fracturing his eye socket. Another melee ensued but quickly ended as the extend of Boucha's injury was realized. Bleeding profusely, Boucha was stretchered off. When the dust settled, Boston was short handed for ten minutes, which they killed off. The Bruins went on to win 8-0, scoring a short handed goal and seven power plays goals, an NHL record. Forbes was given a ten game suspension and charged with aggravated assault. His trail ended in a hung jury. Forbes and the Bruins settled a civil case by paying Boucha in excess of one million dollars. Boucha made a comeback, playing the next season for the Kansas City Scouts and the Minnesota Fighting Saints of the WHA but with his vision permanently affected, he retired from pro hockey.

His cousins Gary and Earl Sargent were also pro hockey players. The former played in the NHL, while the second was a career minor-leaguer.

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