Recently Jimmy Rutherford has stated he is looking for someone who can stand up for our top players (Skinner, etc.) when they are being abused by opposing players or teams. I don't bring up this topic here to quibble with Mr. Rutherford on this subject, rather to further expound on the topic. In particular I would like your input on the type of "enforcer" we should get and some idea of who this person would be and how we would obtain him.
When iI refer to type of enforcer I feel there are three types (you may disagree). First, there is the type that mostly only comes on the ice to drop the gloves. I am not in favor of this type enforcer for two reasons. One, they usually can't skate a lick and contribute nothing other than 30-40 seconds of game activity. Second, they usually end up fighting the other teams enforcer, not the offender (the player who abused our player) so I don't see the point. The only benefit of this type enforcer IMO is they act to offset the presence of the other teams enforcer if the other team has one. This type enforcer is the Cam Jannsen, George Parros, and Wade Brrokbank, etc. type player. Not too many of these around these days.
Second, there is the 4th line type enforcer who is a 4th line player who is a respectable hockey player who can also play shifts if asked to do so by the coach. I would prefer this type enforcer for two main reasons. First, they can play a shift of respectable hockey and thus have a value above there fighting ability. Secondly, I feel this type enforcer is more effective as he is a physical presence (threat if you will) throughout the game. This type enforcer is exemplified by the likes of Prust (a favorite of mine), Boyle, Asham, , etc. This type player might be easier to obtain also.
Third, there is the skilled player (can skate and score some) who plays on the second or third line who also is a physical presence. Players such as Matt Cooke (Pittsburgh), Neal, Ott (my No. 1 favorite), Neal, etc. This type player is becoming more prevalent, but I don't know of any who are really available. Would probably have to trade to get one.
Well, you have my thoughts. What are yours?