Enforcers Losing Jobs in the NHL

Are NHL enforcers becoming endangered?

Brian Burke addressed the Toronto Maple Leafs media in January 2012 and lamented the demotion of tough guy Colton Orr to the American Hockey League.

With a “character” player like Orr out of the National Hockey League, the then-general manager said he was “troubled” that the state of the game when someone like Orr was no longer on the roster.

“I have this fear that if we don’t have guys looking after each other, that the rats will take this game over,” the now ex-Maple Leafs GM said at the time. “I see guys running around and starting stuff and won’t back it up. It makes me sick to my stomach.”

Well, the day has come when fewer than half the league’s 30 teams will start a season without a heavyweight fighter, or one-dimensional forward.