There is a meathead that lives inside of me.
Not so much now as when I was younger but anyone who watched the Bears before Walter Payton and the Jerry Sloan bulls had to get their joy out of being tough rather than winning anything.
The Blackhawks had their share of tough guys over the years but to their credit and our pride the Chicago enforcers usually excelled in hockey as well.
Dave Manson was such a player. Having been drafted first round in 1985 in the waning years of hockey goon era, he was everything a meathead could believe in.
The Blackhawks were poised to become a dominating force in the NHL once again and here was a defenseman who could put us over the hump. He delivered.
Booming slapshot from the point, fists of iron, an uncompromising attitude …
and a temper from hell.
Imagine John Scott with Dan Carcillo’s temperament who could skate and play hockey .
This was Dave Manson.
After having met him several times while he lived in Naperville I knew Dave to be a genuinely nice easy going character who was very personable and likable.
Yeah … and then he would lace up a pair of skates and turn into a gorilla on ice.
He was mean … he was nasty … he was vicious.
He was Dick Butkus on skates.
Trying to paint you a picture of the pure brutality of this man who makes Dan Carcillo look like a schoolboy.
You never knew if he was going to score, do something stupid or destroy someone’s face.
I’ve never seen him lose a fight and he took on all comers.
He set the Blackhawk record for most penalty minutes in a season while also scoring 18 goals and making the all star team. He bit people. He pushed referees and linesmen. He fought from the bench.
He was suspended three times in one season during an era when they didn’t suspend players for nearly anything.
His nickname was Charlie! This was a bad bad dude.
Oh, how I loved him.