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Getting slapped by NHL enforcer Ben Eager at the Quail and Firkin in Toronto

As many of you will have heard, I was involved in an altercation with an NHL player on Saturday night. Don’t worry I’m fine. As it turns out, I’m not unusually grossed-out by being spit on, and my blood coagulates very quickly.

Anyhow, like every Saturday night, I was at the Quail and Firkin on Yonge Street drinking a half liter of white wine while playing my Scratch N’ Win tickets. You should know that this bar is on the cusp of Rosedale, an immensely wealthy district in Toronto, and is typically filled with the hammered offspring of very rich people. Normally I’m entirely ignored, but this week a massive guy who must have been about 6’2 240 bullied up to the bar beside me, and seeing me scratching and not winning, derisively said to his buddy, “ Look, Elvis Costello there is hoping to win some cash for his next drink!” And then they were all “Bro” about it, laughing and giving one another high fives, before ordering themselves and every waitress in the place, shooters.

I gave them a sour look.

“Jager Bombs, good choice,” I said, “the gold flecks make it classy.”

The big guy fixed me a look.

“You gotta problem, besides being you, I mean?” There was a high-five followed by the big dude putting the littler dude in a headlock, both of them letting out a beer ad yell, and then another round of shooters.

“Look, I’m just trying to scratch n’ win here, okay?” but instead of looking away after I spoke, I looked right at them and held their gazes. I was almost finished my half- liter of wine. Feeling pretty confident.

“Do you know who I am?” the big guy asked.

“ Were you a contestant on the Canadian version of Survivor?”

The smaller but still huge guy said, “ He plays in the NHL, he led the league in penalty minutes in 2006-07. An Oiler. He could buy and sell you, low rent man. A chick flashed him at a game. He’s a stud.”

Suddenly it all clicked into place.

“Ben Eager?” I asked.

He tilted his head and looked at me, somehow managing to make his face look bigger. “That’s right, I’m not the guy you want to be messing with, understand?”

“You were in my hockey pool last year! It was like a dead pool, only for guys we thought were in the closet!”

At this point NHL enforcer Ben Eager slapped me really hard across the face, knocking me to the ground. He then spit on me. It landed on the back of my head, I think. A bouncer charged over to break-up the altercation and was immediately beaten to a pulp by Eager. It was ugly and the police were called, whereupon both Eager and his brother were charged with assault.

It’s clear that the NHL lockout is hurting us in ways we never even imagined.

58 Comments Post a comment
  1. doug #

    you’re a pussy

    October 23, 2012
  2. Fenglin #

    a huge pussy

    October 23, 2012
  3. Ha #

    Pretty sure Eager got arrested on early Saturday morning meaning it would have been a Friday night. So if you were there “like every Saturday night” doing your scratch n’ wins I think you missed the fight.

    October 23, 2012
  4. Brent #

    So you started talking shit back to a guy who would easily beat you up and got beat up?

    October 23, 2012
    • Gary Livingston #

      If this were true it would contradict the other people calling Michael a pussy.


      October 24, 2012
  5. Clavis #

    I’m not a violent person, but if you talked to me like that, I’d kick your dick in the dirt, too. Honestly, I just had a peek at your picture on the About Me page…Jesus, if dress like that in public, you’re just begging for an asswhipping.

    October 23, 2012
  6. curtis #

    Hey Sorry to hear this, not all Oiler fans think you’re a pussy. Feel free to dress how you wish. Eager will get his due, and hopefully play better on the ice this season.

    October 23, 2012
  7. Colin #

    All this recanting proves is that Ben Eager is chuckle-headed neanderthal, and that you’re a homophobe. The only thing that transpired that is a shame is that bouncer getting assaulted for trying to break up the scuffle that you caused. Eager shouldn’t have hit you, but you also shouldn’t have insulted him as you did. I’m not saying your deserved a slap in the face, but you deserved a slap in the face.

    October 23, 2012
  8. Michael Murray #

    Clavis, can you imagine all the beatings if we were combined into one person? A guy named Clavis dressed-up as some sort of dandy wouldn’t last 10 seconds in most towns!

    October 23, 2012
  9. quirky mcjerk #

    tough talk in the comments. all from the same troll, I would assume.

    probably a good idea not to get sassy with gigantic ‘bros’ while they are doing shots. hopefully your lawsuit goes well.

    October 23, 2012
  10. George B #

    Apparently you need to read the book How to Win Friends and Influence Neanderthals. Neither his nor your behaviour is becoming.

    I will instruct my kids to avoid being an asshole or provoking an asshole. (Although with your comments you may have blurred the line between who was who.)

    Sorry for your encounter.

    October 23, 2012
  11. OvenChicken #

    I don’t condone violence but if you knew who you were dealing with, a short tempered and currently unemployed tough guy, I would think you would be smart enough to just keep your mouth shut and ignore the cretin.

    Eager will get what he deserves and I think he taught you a lesson on keeping your mouth shut as well. It’s a win-win situation really.

    October 23, 2012
  12. quirky mcjerk #

    Are you going to explain the holes in your story? Eager was arrested on Saturday at 1:00am, yet you claim this was Saturday night. Care to elaborate?

    October 23, 2012
  13. Ryan #

    Try not to be smarmy to people. Let alone massive hockey players.

    Eager obviously sounds like a massive dickhole but you should probably have kept your head down and tried not to score points.

    While I wouldn’t have carried on like Eager from the onset, I definitely would have acted the same once you started being a smug dickbag.

    Well deserved.

    October 23, 2012
    • Chris #

      No, you’re right… people should be allowed to hit each other if they don’t agree with what you have to say. Fool.

      October 23, 2012
      • Ryan #

        Thanks for missing the point.

        October 23, 2012
        • Jon #

          and the point was you shouldn’t stand up for yourself? And as Chris said, you should just hit someone if you don’t agree? Isn’t that what Eager did? Wasn’t he being the smug dickbag?

          October 25, 2012
  14. Michael Murray #

    I had consumed almost 2 and 1/2 glasses of wine and I was VERY frustrated at my lack of success with the Scratch N’ Win tickets ( The crossword ones suck, Deal Or No Deal is the best), so my judgement was impaired and I was on edge. I think that explains why I stepped a little bit out of character. Also, sitting alone in a bar full of young, super rich, beautiful and entitled people can wear on you, especially if you’re old, weak and not winning ANY of your Scratch N” Win tickets, and as for holes in my story, drunk and concussed, drunk and concussed.

    October 23, 2012
    • Een Bager #

      That was a good line if you actually used it and you’ve got nothing to regret. Any charges or settlements stemming from this should help keep you get a few more scratch tickets. All the comments trying to defend the response to you standing up for yourself after being provoked multiple times then being physically assaulted are the type of people that make hockey fans look pathetic.

      October 23, 2012
  15. Giuseppe Quaresima #

    I love ranch.

    October 23, 2012
  16. Steven Urch #

    Yooooooooo! Were you high???

    October 23, 2012
  17. bonkers #

    Eager keeps his cool all year while the young Oilers stars get roughed up, but as soon as a feather-weight hipster gets lippy, he goes all rambo on him. Here’s hoping the second coming of Shane Corson gets bought out of his contract and becomes the toast of Siberia in the KHL.

    October 23, 2012
  18. FFS #

    Man the fuck up.

    I am in no way condoning anything Eager did or said. He was being a bully and in every conceivable way a total ass hole. I hope he gets the appropriate punishment for resorting to physical violence as that is completely intolerable.

    But seriously, you’re playing the victim like you did NOTHING wrong. YOU walked into that bar in that area of town. YOU were drinking (this is NOT an excuse for using homophobic slurs or any other behaviour). YOU were playing Scratch and Win and losing (Protip: It’s dumb luck. As an “older” gentleman you should have a little constraint when it comes to losing at a stupid game).

    I am sick to death of this society that refuses to take any blame. You could’ve walked away and you didn’t. You decided to get a jab in to show these guys (who you clearly exaggerate as being well below you in terms of intelligence) and you got popped. Like I said Ben Eager was in the wrong. But you are not innocent and stop pretending you are.


    October 23, 2012
  19. Crystal #

    Ban Eger missis home hon in Edmintin

    October 23, 2012
  20. Daley Vandenbroeke #

    Ben Eager My Nigga Bro! That How U Get Popped In My Hood Bro Don’t Talk No Shit There Won’t Be No Shit! Yooo Ben You Gotta Come Catch Up With Me At One Of My Model Shoots Bro Ok? HMU

    October 23, 2012
  21. Biaggio Donovan #

    Meet me at the Hoito you pussy

    October 23, 2012
  22. Glen G #

    Since when do Jager Bombs have “Gold flecks” in them?

    October 23, 2012
  23. I think, Murray, that you shoulda’ called on your long standing bar-fly drinking buddy, Rob Ford, who, if he was there, woulda’ bought Eager and co (and the whole bar) a round, and it would have ended with them high fiving you and offering free tickets to the Eskimos cheer leaders away game party at SkyDome.

    October 23, 2012
  24. Giuseppe Quaresima #

    Hey Michael, how is the ranch at that pub anyways? I am always down for a nice half liter of white ranch on a fri/sat night if you want to join me. If that tool Paul Bissonette shows up lets yell gay and racial slurs at him after finishing our white wine and ranch. If Bitchnasty2point(hom)0 talks back we will Eager him, boom!

    October 23, 2012
  25. Jesse #

    Seems like Ben Eager surprised no-one with his behaviour, and you are now known as a pretentious homophobe. I’m surprised that this was notable enough to write a blog post about, as one would think that behaviour like this would result in more physical altercations. Your behaviour proves you to be no better than Ben Eager, Michael. It has just shown simply that due to a lack of physical ability to belittle someone, you use words instead. If this blog post was meant to gain sympathy, or to get people on your side, maybe you shouldn’t have mentioned that you used being a homosexual as an insult.

    October 23, 2012
    • Alex #

      LOL! Are you from San Fran or something?

      October 24, 2012
  26. Three basic rules Michael;

    1. Big beats small.
    2. Strong beats weak.
    3. Smart beats stupid.


    October 23, 2012
  27. Adam G #

    Ben Eager’s a douche. I’m so glad he no longer plays for SJ. Hope you sue the hell out of him.

    October 23, 2012
  28. Me #

    Confucius say, “Mouthing off to big guys in bars has as much chance of turning out well as spending money on scratch and win tickets.” (Ducey)

    October 23, 2012
  29. nick #

    National Hangman League. More fun. And eminently safer. (I can never get past the head, neck and arms on the gallows, darn it!)

    October 23, 2012
  30. Verax #

    Dude, maybe it’s time to retire the “sour look.”

    Let’s just recap where it’s gotten you so far:

    1) Appropriately scolded by Ryan Gosling for being one of those idiots who rides their bike on the sidewalk.
    2) Slapped by NHL player for mouthing off and making stupid homophobic comment.

    Yep. Time to shut’er down.

    October 23, 2012
  31. George B #

    And somehow confirmed with Tyler Dellow that this was fiction? @mc79hockey


    October 23, 2012
  32. Dwigle #

    You made all of this up??

    Wow, you’re an idiot.

    October 23, 2012
  33. Nick McKinney #

    Having known since high school I can safely at he isn’t going to be retiring that sour look anytime soon. His weekly thrashing a at the hands of the young “eager-types” of the neighborhood was quite legendary.

    October 23, 2012
  34. Michael Murray #

    Weekly thrashings? They were daily thrashings, sometimes bi-daily. It wasn’t until I joined the archery club that things started to settle down.

    October 24, 2012
  35. Mike #

    I applaud you for standing up for yourself. These idiots needed to get put in their place. It only cost you a good slap in the face.

    October 24, 2012
  36. Mike #

    Just read it”s a work of fiction. You got me too.

    October 24, 2012
  37. noonan #

    I always enjoyed when the canucks made him look like an idiot. Especially in the playoffs.

    October 24, 2012
  38. Justin #

    Spreading a fake rumor about yourself to get a couple extra hits on your site? Pathetic. What a sad life you must lead that you strive to be Internet-famous–rather than let your ‘real’ writing define you. I feel sorry for you.

    October 24, 2012
  39. Dan #

    Eager is a piece of shit…he only makes a million and a half a year (nothing so far this season lol) and probably will be out of the league within a few years. What a loser…good job for sticking up to him.

    October 24, 2012
  40. Dan #

    Nevermind if you made this all up….but nice story if it were true. Hope you do win the lottery though haha

    October 24, 2012
  41. Skippy #

    Looks like Michael attracted a crowd of tough guys defending precious Ben’s honour.

    October 25, 2012
    • Skippy #

      Ben Eager is an awesome gay porn name.

      :thumbs up:

      October 25, 2012
  42. Master Murray,

    I am truly sorry to hear you were involved in this confrontation without me there to back you up. As you know, I’m a Senator’s Ass Kickin’ Mofo.

    Should I be successful in my bid to become the leader of the Liberal Party, and eventually unseat the Harper government I will institute three laws to prevent this kind of misery from besetting you or anyone in your position:
    1 – No more NHL Lockout, because if Ben Eager was busy pretend a-playing hockey he would not be beating around small towns trying to wrestle up trouble.
    2 – Justin Trudeau Bat Signal on top of every bar, so I can be alerted of the need for me to personally intervene and scare the bejezus of aggressors with my fists.
    3 – Modification of the Gaming laws so all Scratch-and-Win tickets are winners.

    Thank you for your continued support Master Murray,

    Keep on voting Justin!
    (Not the Beiber)

    October 26, 2012
  43. Blink #

    If I’m not mistaken, when I read this story, Ben was the agressor from the beginning. Just because Mike came up with a smart remark instead of the dumb one’s that Eager and his sidekick were making doesn’t make him the bad guy. And he didn’t get violent. No remark deserves violence unless you’re some thug. And that’s why Eager was charged.

    October 26, 2012
  44. Kim Becker #

    Hey Commenters, I too had a drink with Michael on Saturday night. Like Eager I’m large and from Edmonton and I didn’t once feel like slapping or spitting {really!}

    October 26, 2012
  45. holden #

    eager pulls the do you know who i am card? haha. ben is probly enjoying the lockout…less concussions.

    October 26, 2012
  46. Michael Murray #


    You did not have my vote before, but you do now.

    October 26, 2012
  47. goaliedave #

    Golden! just subscribed for the rss feed, hopefully it gets me all your stuff.

    October 27, 2012
  48. Shamus #

    It amazes me how many people think its okay to beat people up jyust because…

    November 7, 2012
  49. It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d most certainly donate to this
    brilliant blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your
    RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to brand new updates and will talk about this site with my Facebook group.
    Chat soon!

    October 7, 2014

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