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Ron Hextall beat the crap out of Chris Chelios 26 years ago today

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With time running down on the Flyers season, Ron Hextall dished out some vigilante justice against Chris Chelios. He was suspended 12 games.

With just a few minutes left in Game 6 of the 1989 Wales Conference Finals series against the Montreal Canadiens, and Philadelphia on the verge of seeing their season end, former Flyers goaltender and current Flyers general manager Ron Hextall charged from his crease and attacked Habs defenseman Chris Chelios.

Hextall was later suspended 12 games for the attack, which he said was retaliation for a Chelios elbow to the head of Brian Propp in Game 1 of the same series. Propp had been knocked out and he missed Game 2 with the injury. (It's worth noting that today, he probably would have missed much more time, knowing what we do about concussions.)

The Flyers were incensed by what Chelios did to Propp, and even more incensed by the lack of discipline Chelios saw as a result of it. Here's what then-general manager Bob Clarke told the Inquirer after Hextall's 12 game suspension:

"What Chris Chelios did to Brian Propp was far worse," Clarke said. "What James Patrick did to Ron Sutter was far worse. . . . Let's face it, this is one of the most severe penalties ever handed out, and it's an incident in which no one was hurt."

And then-team president Jay Snider:

"I don't see the logic here," Snider said. "There have been lesser penalties for stick-swinging incidents. . . . For example, last year Dino Ciccarelli, when he swung his stick at Luke Richardson's head, he was suspended 10 games. I can understand that. But when you compare this to that, I just don't understand what standard was applied."

And Hextall, to the New York Times:

''I didn't intend to hurt Chelios. I intended to fight him,'' said Hextall. ''I know I was wrong, but I also know what Chris Chelios did to Brian Propp was far more vicious than what I did to Chelios.''

Last year, we asked Hextall what his relationship with Chelios is like today:

"I don't know," Hextall said. "I think you guys made a big deal out of our little rendezvous in the press box there. I don't know if people thought that we should be throwing rights or what. But I've got a lot of respect for Chris and we've talked many times. As much as it might disappoint people, we've talked many times over the years.

h/t Dave Strehle