Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Anaheim's All-Time Team: Protect the Superstars

To help save the planet, I am re-using an image from Christmas 2006.

I know I've lost some momentum on this Anaheim Sometimes-Mighty Ducks of Anaheim project, but I'm down to my last spot to fill. I've got the rest of the roster penciled together for an unveiling next week, though it's still not too late to convince me on your votes in for:
  • #1 Center: Rucchin, Oates, Fedorov, McDonald, or Getzlaf.

  • #5 and #6 Defensemen: Two of Dollas, Karpa, Mironov, Salei, Havelid, Vishnevski, Carney, Ozolinsh, Beauchemin, O'Donnell, or Schneider.

  • Backup Goaltender: Hebert, Shtalenkov, Gerber, Bryzgalov, or Hiller.
Today we fill my last open spot: Enforcer.

Throughout its franchise history, Anaheim has relied on an element of pure muscle, for a few reasons: to compensate for its sissy team name, to draw more lackluster fans in SoCal, and for traditional on-ice reasons (protecting and generating space for superstars). I don't suppose that reserving a slot for an enforcer makes Anaheim's All-Time team necessarily better on paper, but I think it does do a service to all those punch-monkeys who have stood up for the Ducks over the years. Also, my all-time team (penciled-in version) is looking quite soft thus far; I can probably count the career fighting majors among my forwards on one hand.

In terms of the skillset I'm looking for, it's pretty simple: Popularity, Fighting Ability, and Regular Shifts (in that order of importance). I've put together a list of twelve candidates which is by no means exhaustive (feel free to write in anyone I've missed), sorted by penalty minutes per game. I won't profile these guys (frankly, I don't remember them all), but this list should help jog Ducks fans' memories.



Garrett Burnett





Todd Ewen

1993-94 to 1995-96




Kevin Sawyer

2000-01 to 2002-03




Brent Severyn





Warren Rychel

1996-97 to 1997-98




Ken Baumgartner

1995-96 to 1996-97




George Parros

2006-07 to current




Stu Grimson

1993-94 to 1994-95,
1998-99 to 1999-00




Todd Fedoruk

2005-06 to 2006-07




Denny Lambert

1994-95 to 1995-96,




Jim Cummins

2000-01 to 2001-02




Shawn Thornton





Questions to consider: Who on this list was most likely to get fans on their feet? Who on this list would be scariest to fight against? Who on this list showed the best hockey sense aside from fighting? And then the real question: All that considered, who deserves the Enforcer spot on the Anaheim Sometimes-Mighty Ducks of Anaheim? Whether you're a Ducks fan or not, I'll take your votes and justifications in the comments.

Go Ducks.


Hank said...

I would say Stu but Parros is coming up quick just for his stache so i vote for those two. Yelling "STUUUUU" at games always got the crowd going.

Earl Sleek said...

I guess I'll point out that of all my "ask the audience" questions, this may be the one that I need the most help with, as I literally have a blank spot on the final roster. So feel free to chime in, even if you've just narrowed it down to a few candidates.

Also, I mis-coded all the links in the table when I published this, but they have all been fixed now.

Mike in OC said...

Grim Reaper & Parros, no question.

I love when Parros approached Booger before the Ducks / Wild playoff game in 2007 and almost started a team brawl prior to any officials taking the ice.

That was straight out of Slap Shot.

Earl Sleek said...

Unrelated to this post, but relevant on Anaheim's current salary cap crunch, is the fact that the Pittsburgh Penguins have lost their top two defensemen (Whitney and Gonchar) for something like two months.

Might this put them in the list of potential Schneider destinations? We'll see.

Chris said...

My heart says Parros, but my mind says Grimson. Neither lit up the scoresheet, but since Parros was such a big part of the identity of the 07 cup team that had more success than Grimson's, I'll go with Parros.

Earl Sleek said...

since Parros was such a big part of the identity of the 07 cup team that had more success than Grimson's

Well, not that big a part. They had to apply to get Parros' name on the cup, because he technically didn't qualify (not enough regular season games and no appearances in the SC Finals).

Let's put it this way, if I'm including Parros, it's the 2007-08 version, not the 2006-07 version (there was marked improvement in his game after being a scratch most of the '07 postseason).

This could very well turn out to be a two-horse race between Parros and the Reaper, though, in which case I'll regret working so hard to encode a 12-man html table :)

RudyKelly said...

Stu Grimson would beat the shit out of George Parros and then leave a pamphlet about the glory of Jesus Christ on his limp body.

Mike said...

Grim Reaper, if only for the nickname. Parros is a feared slugger, but nothing like Stu in his prime. It was Stu and Probert, no one else came close. But Parros is in a heated discussion with Laraque, Boogard, Brashear, etc.

And the Pens are less than $1.5M under the cap- they might be a trade partner, but they'd have to give salary back to the Ducks to make that happen.

Chris said...

For sure, 08 Parros was better than 07 Parros when he was able to figure out that whole skating thing a little better. I'm just thinking in terms of regular season and how he personified the physical play of the team.

If Grimson was in his prime and on the 06-07 team, I doubt we would see him in many playoff games, like Parros. And if this was the case, maybe I would be saying him instead of Parros. I guess overall team success is the tipping point for me.

Gotta love seeing Burnett leading the pack in terms of PIM/game though, he was one of the more entertaining parts of that sad 03-04 season.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha, that's super funny, Rudy.. I will go with Stu just because he came to my church to give a sermon. (I was living in one of the Southern states where hockey is definitely NOT big at the point.) He was a super nice dude!

Jargen said...

I think the ends of Parros' hair are starting to merge with his stache.

TNG said...

I'm guessing this is for a 4th line winger, otherwise Karpa would have to be on the list: like I said before, still holds the record for most PIMs with the Ducks. He had 38 fights while on a Ducks uniform.

sleek, here's a list of those players with the number of fights while playing with the Ducks (Regular/post season number only)... thought it might be relevant since PIMs doesn't necessarily mean toughness:

Name - Fights (Regular + Post eason)
G. Burnett - 22
T. Ewen - 51
K. Sawyer - 15
B. Severyn - 7
W. Rychel - 27 + 1
K. Baumgartner - 21 + 1
G. Parros - 41
S. Grimson - 61
T. Fedoruk - 19 + 2
D. Lambert - 20
J. Cummins - 11
S. Thornton - 12 + 1

data extracted from hockeyfights.com

BTW, my pick: the Grim Reaper. Parros still has to work on his balance and get some more experience before getting the best Ducks Heavyweight tag. He does get the "best stache/hair combo" award, hands down.
Although out of all that bunch, Shawn Thornton was/is the best combination; knows how to play hockey, knows how to fight and most of the times (he didn't face the Boogeyman after the Fedoruk affair) stands up for his teammates no matter what.
Fedoruk is also a capable player (he even played some games on the top line in 05/06 providing cover for McD & Selanne) but was a wreck after Boogard.
But Stu is one of the best and scariest fighters alltime in the NHL so...

Marl said...

Even if it pains to vote against the stache, I'll have to go with Grimson. He was damn tough and he, too, strongly associates with Anaheim (which kinda drops these 40 game guys out of the competition for me).

As for Regular Shifts, Warren Rychel always struck me as a decent player, and going through the stats seems to prove this; he not only has the highest points per game of these guys, and has multiple full playoffs in his resume (meaning he mostly didn't have to sit). And holy crap, I just noticed that he had 13 points in the playoffs going into the Finals with the Kings in 92-93.

Interesting, by the way, that all three that I mentioned have also played for the Kings.

But Grim Reaper it is.

Earl Sleek said...

I'm guessing this is for a 4th line winger, otherwise Karpa would have to be on the list.

You are correct on that, TNG. And thanks for that "actual fight" breakdown; I just stuck with PIMs as a proxy because they were easily pulled together.

I will go with Stu just because he came to my church to give a sermon.

I am not officially adding sermons to the desired skillset, but that is definitely a plus to consider!

VeryProudofYa said...

If you did this list a year from now, I could see myself voting for Georgie. He beat the christ out of shelley last year and knocked cote the eff out.

But his dominant fights are interspersed with a few where he just falls over for seemingly no reason, or lets a guy like scott thornton cockslap him. His improvement last season was marked, so if he keeps limiting his bursts of failure, he'd definitely get my vote

But, for now, I'm all for Stu holding the enforcer tag for the all-time team.

Earl Sleek said...

I guess Brent Severyn's only hope, then, is to make my all-time radio team.

(Or heck, all-time broadcast team; he certainly is better than Hayward.)

brokeyard said...

Remember, you can always refer to Hockey Fights.com for all your enforcer needs.

Earl Sleek said...

You know, for someone who's been writing about hockey for 2+ years, and who's known about Hockey Fights.com for that entire stretch, it's hard to believe that today's the first time I ever visited the site.

I guess that shows how much stock I put in fighting metrics.

brokeyard said...

George Parros All Time (hope this is readable)

07-08 8 12 3 0.348
06-07 6 -6 -6 0.333
05-06 4 -8 -5 0.235

Total 18 26 14 0.310

18 wins, 26 losses, and 14 ties according to the majority vote at hockeyfights.com.

Parros seems to win an average of 1-in-3 fights.

Older players like Stu Grimson have fights listed but not many results, since they took place before the site existed.

brokeyard said...

Todd Fedoruk All Time
(again according to hockeyfights.com)

07-08 2 1 6 -0.222
06-07 0 8 2 -0.000
05-06 9 3 3 -0.600
03-04 4 3 1 -0.500

Total 15 - 15 - 12 - 0.357

In his years before and as a Duck he was great but as soon as he went to the Flyers he learned to suck at fighting.

Earl Sleek said...

Todd Fedoruk All Time...

In his years before and as a Duck he was great but as soon as he went to the Flyers he learned to suck at fighting.

Well, there's certainly an easy explanation for that. Boogaard broke Fedoruk's face and his spirit. In a weird sort of way, the fact that Todd continued to fight even after that sort of damage was a bit of a moral victory (though that's certainly not what Hockey Fights is tracking).

We'll see what sort of game he brings to the Coyotes this year.

Sarah said...

I'd say Stu Grimson (nothing beats a badass Jesus freak), but no list is complete with Shawn Antoski. I know he wasn't with the Ducks all that long, but he could mostly hold his own in battle, and most importantly he was a totally hottie in his day. Too bad his career was cut short by that car wreck, and then again by the dog kick to the metal plate in his head. Last I heard, he was raising horses somewhere in Canada.

Itlan said...

Warren Rychel, HA!! Brings back memories. My vote is for Stu Grimson. When Grimson used to lean over the boards and bark at the other players I used to bark at the TV. My wife thought I was insane.

la patineuse said...


Bryan said...

IF memory serves me correctly, Stu got his ass beat down constantly.