Nick Fotiu was as tough as they came in the National Hockey League in the late '70's and early '80's, and Hulk Hogan was at the top of the heap in the rough and tumble world of professional wrestling at the same time.
But these two tough guys showed their softer sides when they hooked up for this photo at Madison Square Garden (with Rangers staff member Joey Bucchino on the right).
"The Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus was in town, and they decided one day to set up one ring for a group of children who had Downs Syndrome and give the kids a special day at the circus," Fotiu explained earlier this week. "Hulk and I were the celebrity guests and spent the whole day with those kids. It was such a neat thing because the kids were so happy, and that's all that matters---that we supported the kids and helped give them a special day."
Fotiu got himself in a bit of trouble, though, with the Rangers because he gave away all of the pucks the team had to the children, making sure each boy and girl received one, but not leaving any for the team's next practice!
"I gave away seven boxes of pucks by the end of the day," remembered Fotiu. "We just wheeled out the boxes, opened them up, and it took me a while, but every kid got a puck. But then we didn't have any left for practice. Someone had to run downstairs to (Gerry Cosbys Sporting Goods Store) which used to be right outside of The Garden. They weren't too happy with me at that moment, but it was for the kids, and that was the most important thing."
As for his brush with Hulkamania, Fotiu remembers Hulk Hogan being "nice...a good guy".
And who was the tougher of the two, Fotiu or Hogan?
"I look so young in that picture, like a really young kid, and he is a big man," said Fotiu. "But on skates he wouldn't have had a chance against me!"