...what's a tough guy to do???
Wade Brookbank's got another mountain to climb now that he's made it to the NHL. It's the one that will allow him to stay in the "new" NHL if he can conquer it. He and all enforcers now have got to prove that they can play the game... not just drop'em.
By Douglas Flynn/ Daily news staff
WILMINGTON -- Wade Brookbank isn't the type to back down from a fight.So, pay your respects and say goodbye to a "time-honored tradition" that apparently has no place in the "new" NHL.
The 6-foot-4, 225-pound enforcer has literally scrapped his way from the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League all the way to the NHL, and he's hoping his fists can help him land a spot on the Bruins roster this year after signing as a free agent in the offseason.
But Brookbank is battling the toughest foe he's ever faced in his 10-year professional career. It isn't an opposing team's heavyweight, nor the challenge from the latest young buck vying for the same job in camp.
No, Brookbank is fighting against the game itself.
The instigator rule and other recent legislation to reduce fighting in the NHL has put the time-honored tradition of the enforcer in peril. The obstruction crackdown that has opened up the game after the lockout has placed an emphasis on speed and skill. Size and toughness, once highly sought after commodities, are no longer in such high demand.
Or, are reports of it's death greatly exaggerated? Are we simply seeing a evolution of the enforcer taking place in a process that hasn't run it's course yet?
I think we'll start to see for sure this season.