Habs and Leafs Among Teams Changing Toughness Strategy

| Ben Eklund

NHL enforcer becoming an endangered species

Whichever side you might be on in the “Do-Fisticuffs-Belong-In-The-Game?” controversy, Monday reinforced one undeniable fact: The Hockey Enforcer is becoming an endangered species. At least in the NHL, anyway.

As the Habs congregated here at their suburban practice rink to prepare for their clash against the rival Leafs, word came down that both Orr and fellow pugilist Frazer McLaren had been reassigned to the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies, meaning both had to clear waivers in order to end up at Ricoh Coliseum.

The moves came less than two days after the St. Louis Blues released Twitter sensation Paul Bissonnette (@BizNasty2point0) from his tryout.

And through it all, Parros remains a free agent, unsigned and, judging by the lack of interest from around the league thus far, unwanted.

In Toronto, Leafs general manager Davis Nonis was explaining that the trend throughout the NHL is one in which teams are shying away from carrying designated pugilists on their rosters in favour of toughness that is exhibited via a “pack mentality.”