Ask an enforcer / goon
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02-26-2014, 01:37 PM
Join Date: Feb 2014
Originally Posted by
Hi. I'm Jared and I'm a retired enforcer.
I grew up in the 80s and 90s being an enforcer was an integral part of hockey, even in the youth leagues.
As the largest player in my age division every year, I had a physical advantage over every player. At my biggest in the mid 90s, I would have been the largest player in the NHL.
I come from a family of hockey players. My father has been a ref, player and coach for almost 40 years, my brother was a player, ref and coach and I was a ref for 10 years while also playing.
As a larger player, I tended to get picked on for my size. So, I used that energy and turned it into goon energy. Now, I was not always trying to be a goon, I was mostly an enforcer with goon-like tendencies. I had lots of issues where opposing players would attempt to fight me to prove something and I’d just drop them. I was in a LOT of fights and I was good at it. I was also good at being a problem in front of the net. I was merciless with people near my goalie. As a referee, I also knew what I could get away with and when and how to be more aggressive and physical than what may be considered necessary.
I was also a practice coach who would teach Peewees and Bantams how to properly body check. I also worked as a trainer with the All American Defense Camp (does that still exist?) where I thought how to be a physical player.
I was also a boxer for 10 years and would teach hockey players how to fight on ice.
Now as an older player playing in no-contact leagues, I’ve had to learn how to play a less physical game (though if you know any contact leagues for older guys in Massachusetts, let me know). I figured my years of experience could be beneficial to those who are currently playing in full contact hockey.
Perhaps you’d like to know some tips and tricks to being an effective enforcer? How to be a physical force on your team and shut down your lane whenever you’re on the ice (making players afraid to touch the puck when they’re near you). Maybe you want to learn how to avoid goons and their behaviour? Or maybe you want to know some of the slimier things things that old school goons would do?
While I always encourage fair play, there’s always going to be goons out there and it might be good to know what to look for, what to avoid and where that line of enforcer and goon lays.
I have lots of good goon stories and experiences both as a player, official and coach. I’d also spent a good amount of time with Terry O’Reilly as a kid (which probably explains a lot). In fact, one of the reasons my dad stopped playing hockey was because of something Terry did to him in a charity game… because even as an old man, Terry was still a goon.
So, have at it.
I am bigger than you; and undefeated, though I have never started a fight, but finished a few, not just on ice. I just want to play the game. Always seems to be clowns wanting to try and prove something, like how dumb they are maybe? The older I get, the less tolerant I am of clowns though.
I do remember once giving someone a little bump, inconsequential; and the guy turning and slashing me across the side of the head. Didn't do any damage and I presumed the ref would turf him. Ended up in the box as well as the other guy and couldn't believe it. Told the ref he had made a mistake and got turfed and thought f it, you don't whack someone around the head with a stick and get the last laugh. Hauled the other dude out of the box and started unloading on him. Next thing his mother was on me with her handbag flailing away. That was an afternoon to remember and I didn't get to play for a while after that. But it was worth it.
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