Washington Galaxy C Harvey Bellmore is well known around the SHL as a prankster. Virtually everyone who’s crossed path with Bellmore has a story about him, whether it’s his fascination with joy buzzers or the time he crashed a team Faith Day celebration to sermonize about his love of alcohol. This week, one of his pranks backfired on him, and wound up causing himself to miss multiple games with injury.
The Galaxy were on the road this week, and they held a morning skate on Wednesday in Grand Rapids. In the middle of the practice session, Bellmore stopped by the bench to get a drink of water. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw teammate Bruce Hogaboom skating by, so he stuck out his stick to try and trip the rugged defenseman. Hogaboom stumbled, then lurched right into Bellmore and caused the center to flip over the boards. Putting out his hand to break his fall, Bellmore sliced his right thumb open against the latch on the bench door.
Hogaboom, not realizing that Bellmore was hurt, flung his glove at his teammate and loudly (but cheerfully) cursed him out. When Bellmore didn’t get up, Hogaboom and other Washington players came to his aid.
When Bellmore finally stood up, he said, “Guys, I think I’ve got a problem.” Blood was pouring from his thumb and dripping on the ice and down his sweater. Even then, his teammates weren’t convinced that Bellmore wasn’t trying to prank them.
“My first thought,” said LW Charlie Brooks, “was that he’d gotten one of those fake blood things they use in the movies, and he was trying to trick us into thinking he was bleeding to death. It’s the kind of thing he would do.”
They ultimately realized that he wasn’t joking, and helped him off the ice and to the trainer’s table. Bellmore ultimately needed several stitches to close the gash in his thumb.
“I’ve punked a lot of guys in my career, but this is the first time I ever punked myself,” said Bellmore, holding up his bandaged thumb. “I’ll never try to trip Boom Boom again. That’s like throwing yourself in front of a Mack truck. I’m probably lucky I didn’t break every bone in my body.”
Washington coach Peter James was not impressed with Bellmore’s stunt. “I’ve aged about 10 years since I took this job, and at least 90% of that is because of Harvey Bellmore,” James grumbled to reporters. “Who thinks it’s a good idea to deliberately trip your own teammate during practice? Only Bellmore. I’ve met kindergartners who were more mature than him.”
As punishment for the prank, James said Bellmore would be suspended for three games. The center said that was fine with him, since “I can’t really grip my stick right now anyway.”