Before Boston College became known as one of the United States' premium hockey schools, guys like Kevin Stevens were doing their part to get it there. Drafted by the Kings and later traded over to Pittsburgh for his NHL debut, Stevens could score a goal just as easily as he could drop the mitts in a heavyweight fight.
Next to the two Cups Stevens helped win in Pitt, some of my earliest memories of the former left winger are pretty funny. Not to mention, easily worthy of a few snorts and inhaler puffs.
I'm talking about NHL '94 for Sega. Kevin Stevens was sick in that game.
But I'll keep it to just a quick mention because this is a hockey blog. While somewhat relative I choose to nerd-out elsewhere.
Lied...he's first on the screen
On a more serious note, Kevin Stevens was what I guess you could dub a "melee sniper." If you needed further proof, look no further than the 91-92 season where he tallied a career-high 123 points in addition to 252 penalty minutes. 252. That means he still managed to score over 100 points while spending a combined four games in the box. Insane.
In 1993 Stevens broke his face - literally. While playing in the finals against the Islanders (the same series that ended the chances of a Pittsburgh three-peat), Stevens tried to lay his shoulder into Rich Pilon. Unfortunately Stevens' face met the visor of Pilon's helmet and knocked him unconscious. Upon falling to the ice, Stevens broke bones in his face that resulted in reconstructive surgery and over 100 stitches to repair. Comparatively speaking, this injury was somewhat similar to the likes of Scott Stevens on Eric Lindros. While Kevin would ultimately come back to play the following season, he would never have another season with more than 90 points. He'd close out his career with a few short stints with the Bruins, Kings, Rangers and Flyers before returning to the Penguins for the last two years of his career.
Stevens had his share of run-ins with NHL higher-ups when he was forced into the league's Substance Abuse Program in 2000 following an incident in a hotel room with a prostitute and cocaine.
In 2005 Stevens joined the Penguins' office as a talent scout for the team. Regardless of his trouble off the ice, Stevens will forever be remembered for his contributions during Pitt's consecutive Cup runs in 90/91 and 91/92.