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The Evolution of the Enforcer



Last week with the waiver of Colton Orr, Brian Burke has stated he's "troubled" by the direction the game is going and "“I have this fear that if we don’t have guys looking after each other that the rats will take this game over,”

Although the true heavyweight enforcer such as Orr, is slowly becoming extinct, fighting is still a major part of game and is still a skill that could get you on an NHL roster.

The difference between today's "enforcers" and yesterdays, is enforcers need to be able to keep up with the speed of the game and play more minutes than traditionally. If you look at the top fighters this year courtesy of hockyfights.com

Zenon Konopka 12 Derek Dorsett 11 Brandon Prust 11 Zac Rinaldo 10 Jared Boll 9 Tim Jackman 9 Shawn Thornton 9 Brad Staubitz 8 Krys Barch 7 Jamal Mayers 7

You will notice a common theme among them, they are all middle weights with better skating skills than our traditional heavy weight enforcers of the past.

The advantage of using the smaller enforcer allows the coach to be able to play them more minutes and even use them in key situations such as Penalty Killing, ect.

The downside is a guy like Chara, for example, could probably pummel everyone of these guys. However all these guys could probably take care of business in most situations and look out for there "star" teammates.

In conclusion I think the enforcer role is now better than ever. These guys will play a larger role and get more ice time than your traditional heavyweight enforcer. Take a guy like Shawn Thorton who has helped the Ducks and Bruins to Stanley Cups while playing the enforcer role.

So I have to disagree with Brian Burke and I believe that the enforcer role is still alive and well even in today's "troubled" game.

Take Care.



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hes just pissed cause he mis-read the direction of the league and he's out $4.5 million. at least he got 1.5 years out of ORR but as i say. SUCKS TO BE YOU

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I think Holmgren along with Burke have a soft spot for the not so good, but dedicated players that choose to fight because they love the game....Often those guys are the hardest workers and they can set an example for the rest of the team.

But it is time to let go......stop drafting players who have few hockey skills other than the ability to drop the gloves.

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