PROBLACK HOCKEY BLOG
Here’s a concise portrait of some great black hockey players who’ve impacted the NHL over the last 17 years. Those players were all considered great and particular. Most of all, they all possessed a unique way to maneuver on the ice.
Particularly, throughout his NHL career, George Laraque was tasked with the role of enforcer and he quickly rose the ranks to the point of being the undisputed heavyweight in the NHL. Laraque will always be known as a fearsome physical force on the ice, but he did have one 13 goals season with the Edmonton Oilers (The Years), showing that he could contribute to a team’s ultimate success in other ways then just dropping his gloves to fight. Laraque’s value as a hockey player was seen when he was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins( The Years) . Around 2008-2009, Laraque played for his hometown Montreal. It was a good experience to play for the CH. Laraque had a lot of pressure. It was believed at the time that he could help protect the Penguins young stars from opposing teams taking liberties. Laraque has had a successful post-NHL career working as a TV analyst as well as entering the political arena as deputy leader of Canada’s National Green Party. Since 2015, he’s been working as a radio sport analyst for 91.9 FM Montreal. Mister Laraque will likely be remembered as one of the most feared fighters in NHL history.
Originally from Sudbury Ontario, Wayne Simmonds has been in the NHL since the late 2000s. In his young career he has filled the role of power forward on a team and in a city (Philadelphia) that embraces that type of hockey player. Simmonds is a consistent offensive and physical threat for the Flyers. He has helped ease the sting for Flyers fans having watched former Flyers Jeff Carter and Mike Richards win multiple Stanley Cups in Los Angeles. Simmonds was a big piece in the Mike Richards trade, helping Philadelphia re-define its team, making Simmonds a centerpiece.
Considered as an arrogant but really productive and fierce hockey player, Evander Kane had a difficult ending to his tenure in Winnipeg and once his injury woes are put aside, there is no doubt his immense talent will help the Buffalo Sabres become a force once again in the NHL. Kane was a 4th overall draft pick back in 2009 and has proven to be a consistent goal scoring threat since he entered the league. Kane was a bona fide superstar in junior hockey and to a degree he has been the victim of high expectations. Fans and coaches alike watch Kane and believe he is just scratching the surface of his potential. Anyone who has watched Kane play, knows he is poised for a breakout.
Dustin Byfuglien is an NHL star, but he wasn’t always projected as such. With a gargantuan size (6-foot-5 and 265 pounds) many wondered if he had the agility to keep up with the pace at the NHL level. Byfuglien had been a solid contributor for the emerging championship team in Chicago (around 2013-2014), but it was in the 2010 playoffs when he put up 16 points in 22 postseason games that the NHL was put on notice of what he could do. He was a handful all over the ice, imposing his will on the game and forcing teams to deal with his tremendous size and skill. With the Blackhawks facing difficult salary cap restrictions the Winnipeg Jets (then the Atlanta Thrashers) were able to snatch up Byfuglien. In a Jets uniform he has become the heart and soul of the team with an unrivaled ability to play both defence and forward without suffering a drop off in play.
With a Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenceman and an Olympic Gold Medal, at 25 years old, the future is as bright as the sun for Pernell K. Subban. No other player has a personality that reflects his style of play as much as P.K. does. The fearlessness and joy with which he carries the puck up the ice, or bangs his stick to let a teammate know he is open for a pass or the big bodycheck, big smile or big celebration after a goal, all help to personify P.K. He plays the game with such zeal and passion along with all the skills necessary to be an All-Star that you can’t help but slide to the edge of your seat when P.K. is on the ice. He’s one of the most marketable players in the league and it’s easy to see why. P.K Subban played six years for the Canadian of Montreal. He’s been exchange in june 2016 to the Nashville Predators. Subban is one of most paid defenceman in the NHL with a salary of 72$ million dollars on eight years. Aside playing hockey, Subban invested his time in community and corporate activities. For more information on his implications www.pksubban.com
While starring in the WHL for the Kamloops Blazers, Ignila was traded by the Dallas Stars to the Calgary Flames for Joe Nieuwendyk. Nieuwendyk and the Stars would win the Stanley Cup a few short years later. Nevertheless, Iginla would put the Flames on his back and carry the team for the next 14 years. His storybook career is still working out its final chapters, but thus far Iginla has accumulated an Art Ross Trophy as the leagues top point producer, two Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophies as the top goal scorer, two Olympic Gold Medals, a gold at the World Junior Championships, the World Championships and the World Cup of Hockey. Noted for being one of the best conditioned athletes in the entire league, Iginla has represented hockey with class throughout his career. Playing the game tough, but fair, never shying away from a fight, but never looking for one either. He has been the model of consistency playing in over 1,300 games, scoring close to 600 goals and over 1,200 points, with the numbers still increasing. At 37 years of age, Iginla is showing little sign of slowing down as he is currently leading his latest team, the Colorado Avalanche, in points and goals.