This week’s Sports Throwback Thursday belongs to Tom Lysiak. One of the most respected players of the game. An incredible career with the Medicine Hat Tigers in the early 1970s.
Tom was one of the best all-around players of his era. The game of old-school hockey is long gone, and people who saw Tom Lysiak and that era of hockey will undoubtedly agree. Tom was underrated, and he was the pro’s pro. Something that you rarely see in today’s game. Tom Lysiak never got a chance to win the Stanley Cup, but he was exciting to watch when you hear stories about him. Tom Lysiak had some great years with the Flames and Blackhawks.
Lysiak had an incredible career with the Medicine Hat Tigers in the early 1970s. 3-time NHL All-Star Tom Lysiak was the most outstanding player in Atlanta Flames history. A junior hockey legend, Lysiak was a 2nd overall NHL draft pick and quickly established himself as a superior two-way player and a respected leader. Unfortunately, he’s often remembered for an ugly on-ice incident that resulted in one of the most extended suspensions ever levied by the NHL.
Lysiak was handed a 20-game suspension. The 20-game was an automatic penalty once called by the referee, in this case, Dave Newell. The NHL granted referees this power after controversial incidents involving Paul Holmgren and Terry O’Reilly earlier in the decade. The referees threatened to strike if the suspension was not enforced.
Lysiak lost a lot of money when his agent, Richard Sorkin, a man he trusted with his finances, stole money from Tom. The moral of the story is: Don’t let your agent be your financial advisor. It’s a bad move.
After his retirement, Lysiak worked in the Atlanta area’s landscaping, real estate, and construction industries.
Lysiak died of leukemia in Atlanta, Georgia, on May 30, 2016, at age 63, three years after being diagnosed with the disease in May 2013.