Drop the Gloves: Fantasy Enforcer Update
In our Drop the Gloves column we shed the oven mitts, pull the jersey over your head, and pummel you with analysis of the NHL's top enforcers from a fantasy perspective. We also bestow the Fantasy Hockey Standard championship belt on the league's top goon, check in on the current contenders for the title, and offer some thoughts and notes on the best of the rest.
And since it's the last enforcer update for 2013, it's the most important. Our champion rides off into the offseason wearing the belt...
Fantasy Hockey Standard Champion
1. Colton Orr TOR - Not only is Orr the reigning 2013 champion, he's also the Fantasy Hockey Standard Comeback Enforcer of the Year. He's battled concussions and demotions to the minors the last two seasons, but he's all the way back at the top of the mountain. His 13 fights are second to only B.J. Crombeen, and he leads the league with 155 PIMs - only one other player has topped 125.
2. B.J. Crombeen TB - Crombeen arguably deserves the belt - his 14 fights lead the NHL - but Orr knocked him out of the top spot with a last minute surge. The difference was misconducts; Orr leads the league with five, while Crombeen posted only two. It shows up in their PIM totals - Crombeen sits fourth overall (112). And... the Leafs play the Lightning tonight, so we might just get to see them go toe to toe...
3. Rich Clune NAS - Thanks to a busy second half, Clune finishes out 2013 in the third spot. He's top five in fights (12) and PIMs (109) - also dropped the gloves 14 times in the AHL during the lockout. He made a handful of starts for the Kings in '09-10, but since this is his first full campaign, we'll call him our Enforcer Rookie of the Year.
4. Brandon Prust MTL - Were it not for a shoulder injury that cost him 10 starts, Prust might have topped the list. He still cracked the top seven in the NHL in both fights (10) and PIMs (108).
5. Jared Boll CLB - Boll started the season on an absurd pace - six fights in his first eight games - and it seemed like he was going to run away with the title, but he slowed down as the year went on, and then an injury caused him to miss time in early April.
6. Mike Brown EDM - With just a few games left, Mike Brown is one of only five players who've cracked 10 fights and 100 PIMs - Orr, Crombeen, Clune, and Prust are the others.
7. Chris Neil OTT - Neil sits second overall in PIMs (127), but he's ranked this low because he's only fought five times - aside from Orr, he's the only other player with more than three misconducts.
8. Zenon Konopka MIN - The former undisputed fantasy champion left his owners frustrated in 2013. He's still managed eight fights and he's cracked 100 PIMs, but he endured stretches as a healthy scratch, and he also missed time to injury.
9. Frazer McLaren TOR - McLaren is tied for third most fights (12), but a disappointing 78 PIMs keeps him out of the upper echelon. He was also a healthy scratch for 10 games.
10. George Parros FLA - We'll give a nod to one of our favorites in the tenth spot. The mustachioed vet has racked up nine fights - only 10 players have hit that mark - although his 57 PIMs are a major disappointment. Regardless, it's good to see him healthy and mixing it up again.
That's it for 2013! Hope you've enjoyed following our Drop the Gloves column throughout the year and, as always, we'll leave you with our Blades of Steel Fight of the Week: Colton Orr vs. Eric Boulton
The playoffs start in less than a week! Be ready for draft night with a copy of our 2013 Playoff Pool Guide.