By Michael Blinn
It's often said that hockey players are some of the toughest athletes in the world. Whether it's playing on a broken leg, taking a puck to the face, or being on the receiving end of a bone-crushing hit, there's plenty of evidence to back up that statement.
Penguins forward Pascal Dupuis gave everyone another anecdote in a 3-2 win over the Bruins in Pittsburgh on Wednesday after being on the receiving end of teammate Kris Letang's high stick to the mouth. While one would think he'd be off to the trainer's room to get checked out and maybe have some quick work done, Dupuis decided to just get everything over with and pulled his own tooth, right there on the Pittsburgh bench.
It's completely possible that Dupuis isn't a fan of the dentist, didn't want to miss a second of NBCSN's Rivalry Night game agains the Bruins, or that he wanted to show off to his teammates. Either way, it's widely believed that that the 34-year-old right winger does not have a degree from a dental school.
He's not the first player to give himself a little oral surgery on the bench, however. Islanders forward John Tavares took out a few for the tooth fairy in Chicago in the middle of a game against the Blackhawks earlier this season:
It's worth noting that head injuries are a cause for concern throughout the NHL, though both Dupuis and Tavares wear half-shields and mouth guards. Neither is the first NHLer to spit out a few chicklets, nor will they be the last, but they'll certainly go down in hockey lore as some of the toughest amateur dentists around.