OfficialNK Podcast Playback | Episode 49 | Darren McCarty
Nasty Knuckles Darren McCarty

NK Podcast Playback | Episode 49 | Darren McCarty


Nasty Knuckles is back with another episode of everyone’s favorite, hard-hitting outlaw hockey podcast. In this week’s episode, Nasty and Riles welcome the legendary Detroit Red Wings Enforcer, Darren McCarty. McCarty is a 4-time Stanley Cup Winner, all while with the Red Wings. For over a decade, McCarty was part of the Red Wings famous “Grind Line” with center Kris Draper and right-winger Kirk Maltby. McCarty’s professional hockey career spanned 15 years in the NHL, 12 of which were with the Red Wings; McCarty spent the rest with the Calgary Flames. Not only was McCarty one of the best enforcers in Detroit’s history, but he was also a frequent scorer, particularly in times when it counted. Like during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. So, it’s no wonder why McCarty is still a fan favorite in the hearts of all Red Wings Fans.

It is worth mentioning McCarty’s most memorable and endearing fight against Claude Lemieux on March 26, 1997. This fight was one of the many during that infamous massive brawl between the Colorado Avalanche and the Red Wings. Avenging Lemieux’s previously questionable hit on Kris Draper in the prior season’s playoff run, McCarty took Lemieux to the ice and proceeded to give every Red Wings fan what they desperately wished they could do themselves. McCarty’s act of retribution further solidified his place in fan-favorite history.

Today, McCarty is a vocal cannabis proponent. He has developed his own CBD and cannabis brand. McCarty had had a history of alcohol addiction and stated that cannabis was the only thing to help him when everything else failed. He thanks cannabis for saving his life. If you’re interested in learning more about how helpful cannabis is for retired athletes, especially ones with a tough career like enforcers, then you should tune in to Episode #49 of the official podcast of tough guys everywhere, Nasty Knuckles. 


We won’t give away too much from this fun interview with the legendary veteran enforcer. Still, there were a few topics we had to discuss with McCarty on our outlaw hockey podcast. If you’ve ever wondered how the league handles players with addictions and the rowdy lifestyle that comes with being a hockey enforcer, Darren McCarty has first-hand experience to enlighten all of us.

Get the inside scoop on McCarty’s struggle with alcoholism and substance abuse while in the league, and the incredible effect cannabis had on his life. And find out how McCarty is sharing his story to help other retired NHL players and veterans find their cannabis path. Plus, get the incredible first-person insights into that legendary 1997 brawl! You won’t find this type of insight on other weekly hockey podcasts. 

You know we also had to ask about some of his most memorable fights and wild nights out with NHL legends. You don’t want to miss this awesome episode of Nasty Knuckles. In addition to these great topics, the fellas also discuss some other interesting topics with the great Darren McCarty, including:

  • NHL funded AA programs while in the league.
  • How Riley’s advocacy for cannabis and other holistic treatments inspired McCarty to begin his own journey.
  • Nasty’s & McCarty started working for the NHL in the same year.
  • Colorado Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings rivalry
  • Being a leader and admired enforcer to the Red Wings Team 
  • McCarty’s time in the American Hockey League and United Hockey League
  • His side gigs (there are quite a few)

If you're the type of podcast listener who likes to jump around, we have pulled out some of the best bits with timestamps for your convenience.

The Best Bits:

  1. What the AA Program was like and why it doesn’t help everyone. [22:26]
  2. How McCarty discovered that cannabis was the exit drug and how his journey of healing started. [26:35]
  3. How alcohol is the most common way people self-medicate [35:55]
  4. The Colorado Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings Rivalry [43:30]
  5. The Legendary 1997 Brawl and the build-up to it [45:40]
  6. Finding his leadership role, on and off the ice. [56:40]
  7. His cup clinching goal in Game 4 against the Flyers during the 1996-1997 Stanley Cup Playoffs [59:20]
  8. Which former Flyers gets McCarty’s first Christmas card every year and his favorite Joe Louis Arena moment [62:37]
  9. His time with the Adirondack Red Wings (AHL) and the Grand Rapids Griffins (IHL) [67:38]

Striking Quotes:

“Cannabis is personal; medicine is personal”


“This plant will allow you to find your truth if you’re looking for it….”


“And I’ll tell you guys when I got [Kris] Draper out of the hospital two days after he got his jaw wired shut and a titanium plate in his face, I told him things. One, don’t worry, I’ll take care of that [Claude Lemieux], and then I asked where do you want to eat.’


“That more than anything explains my relationship with Stevie [Yzerman] because I’m his b****.”


“Will you do the hardest thing that you hate, over and over again, to get to where you want to go?”

Listen to Darren McCarty discuss memorable NHL fights, Stanley Cup Wins, and wild off the ice stories. McCarty has taken his passion, compassion, and brotherhood mentality from the rink to the real world to help and educate his fellow NHL players and anyone else who might need it. Don’t miss episode #49 of Nasty Knuckles!

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Nasty Knuckles: Outlaw Hockey Podcast

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You won’t find any other hockey podcast quite like Nasty Knuckles. This podcast covers all things hockey and the latest NHL news, from the NHL draft and league dress code to the latest expansion franchise, the Seattle Kraken, and all of the exciting on-ice action every week. If you are a fan of the National Hockey League, Nasty Knuckles will soon be your favorite weekly hockey podcast.