In his latest blog post, Darcy Hordichuk talks about fighting:
I know you’ve all been waiting for this one and I’ve been kind of excited to write this too. Obviously, you know that I get into a lot of fights but that’s my role and I love it but like most things, I had to earn respect doing what I do and I think the first time I really made a statement was when I was 19, back in the IHL.
I was sent down to the Solar Bears from the Thrashers camp – I was 19 and should’ve gone back to juniors – and I was used to guys who were 16-19 and I wasn’t sure what I was in for as far as fighting and how tough guys were at that level. Now, I was fighting men when I was used to fighting kids. So in a game against the Manitoba Moose I was running around being physical so pretty much the whole team wanted to fight me but having just come out of juniors, nobody knew who I was.
I didn’t really have the respect in the IHL at the time so I just asked who their toughest guy was and they ended up throwing him out the next shift. It was Mel Angelstad. We were just teeing off for maybe a minute and at the end of the fight, I looked like I was dragged on the pavement and he looked like I dragged his nose from one side of his face to the other.
The coaches pulled me aside after the game and were just laughing and said ‘You probably just took on one of the toughest guys in the league, not every fight’s going to be like that.’ I went on pace that year and got in 27 more and fought him a couple more times too.
It’s a nice behind-the-scenes story, though by the end, I felt kinda like the time I found out Santa wasn’t real.
I think that people don’t realize that a lot of these guys that we fight, we definitely know each other and we respect each other. A guy like Chris Neil, who I grew up fighting because we were both trying to get to the NHL, I’ve fought him maybe 7 or 8 times now. It was funny, in Nashville, we went to dinner the night before the game and then the second shift of the game, we ended up fighting.
In a game like last night, where we’re up 3-0, I normally wouldn’t fight but I owe it to a guy like that, where if we’re in their building and I need to get my guys going, maybe he’ll fight me too.
Let’s face it, you won’t have a job in this League very long if you can’t get your team going so you kind of need to pull favours once in a while even if you don’t want to fight a guy because the timing’s not right but you do it because you’re going to need that favour one day.
With all due respect to Jeff Cowan version 2007/2008, there’s no doubt Hordichuk has added some much-needed toughness to the fourth line. In 33 games, Hordichuk has already dropped the gloves 9 times (he fought 12 times all of last season) and I’d dare say he’s won or at least tied most of them. He’s also chipped in with 3 goals, which is only 4 goals shy of his career-high.
More of Hordichuk’s post here.