It appears former Colorado Avalanche tough guy Scott Parker felt bullied by coaches early in his NHL career, including then head coach Bob Hartley.
According to the Denver Post, Parker says he was pressured into fighting at the risk of losing his position on the team if he failed to do so.
"He was a junior B goalie trying to tell me how to fight. He was always just degrading me. Not to be a (wimp), but he was a bully," Parker told the Denver Post. "And he could be because he was in a position of authority. What was I supposed to do as a rookie? Go tell him '(expletive) you'? I did that stuff at the end of my career, but at the beginning of my career, I was just a chess piece to him."
Parker, who thinks he may have suffered over 20 concussions during his playing days, also alleges he was forced to play when he was injured.
"He would call me a (expletive), say that Hershey (the Avs' former minor-league affiliate) would be my next stop, where I'd be 'smelling chocolate fumes all day long.' I remember I thought I had a broken foot and told him about it, and he called me a (expletive) and said Hershey would love me," Parker told the Post. "Nobody needed to question my commitment to doing my job. But I was just constantly belittled by Bob Hartley. I really have no respect for the man.
"If you're hurt, it doesn't matter. You're made to think 'I have to fight, or I'll lose my job,' " Parker added.
Parker was drafted 63rd overall by the New Jersey Devils in 1996 but did not sign with the team. He was then drafted 20th overall by the Avalanche two years later. He played 237 games in two stints with the Avalanche as well as 71 games with the San Jose Sharks. He scored seven goals and added 14 assists for 21 points over that span. He also amassed 699 penalty minutes.
Hartley, who is now head coach of the Calgary Flames, declined to comment on Parker's remarks.