Friday 29 June 2012

What’s In A Name?

The designated tough guy on any hockey team has been referred to as: an enforcer, a policeman, a fighter, a goon, and probably some other not-so-polite terms called out from team benches.  Let’s explore the term “enforcer” to see if the name is still valid in today’s hockey, and if role still has the same meaning.

Monday 18 June 2012

More Facts on the Role of Enforcers

Hockey is unique in that some teams use up a roster spot for a player whose primary role is to break the rules – to go out on the ice and engage in a fight.  Enforcers are not as numerous today but they are also not an endangered species just yet.  But if you study the statistics you have to wonder why teams continue to invest in the role.

Tuesday 5 June 2012

What We Can Learn From The Boogaard Story

No one can say with certainty that the death of Derek Boogaard is proof that all enforcers, both in Junior or the NHL, are at serious risk.  I would also offer the opinion that linking his death to the suicides of Wade Belak and Rick Rypien would be a mistake.  But reading his well-documented story about his path to the NHL can teach us quite a bit about the culture of fighting in hockey, and its impact on the sport.