On again, off again

Inside the pride-wounding , character-building life of a healthy scratch

Updated: September 22, 2010, 11:07 AM ET
By Morty Ain | ESPN The Magazine

The math is cruel: an active NHL roster typically holds 23 players, but only 20 are allowed to dress for any given game. The reality for the healthy scratches -- as the inactives are unofficially called -- is crueler still: When their teammates take the ice at game time, they take the elevator to the press box, trading sweaters and skates for blazers and wingtips. It's such an ignominious fate, in fact, that most NHLers refuse to speak of it. Most, but not all. We found five who have ...

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