I’m sorry if I offend any Chris Thorburn fans out there, but he is not the Jets tough guy and won’t have a chance even if he wanted to. He’s already had two seasons to do that, in fact.
Enter Anthony Peluso, the man who pretty much has Thorburn’s job.
In the past five seasons with Atlanta and Winnipeg, Thorburn has managed to post 70 or more penalty minutes each season.
My reaction: Whoop-de-doo.
Has he ever had a fight that really changed the momentum of a game in Winnipeg? Or had a fight that had the fans chanting his name?
Well, Anthony Peluso has.
And he broke his hand in that fight and managed to only play five games in 2012-13 (he broke his hand in game five).
Peluso had 14 penalty minutes in five games – mostly momentum fights or policing the ice. Average that over an 82 game schedule – that’s 229 penalty minutes – real enforcer numbers.
Oh and he can play – two assists in five games – maybe not the guy you call on to be your playmaker, but he’s not an absolute knucklehead going around solely policing the players on the other team.
For a team that has some young, emerging stars (i.e. Evander Kane, Blake Wheeler, Mark Scheifele), there needs to be that Dave Semenkoesque type of player on the ice.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have one – and he can score too – in Chris Kunitz.
Some players can do both – look at a Steve Ott or an Eric Nystrom. Guys who can put up 10-15 goals and then make sure their stars are protected.
In Winnipeg, I’m sorry Chris Thorburn, you aren’t doing a very good job.
Anthony Peluso has earned a right to be the tough guy in a Jets uniform.