Enforcer (ice hockey)

Enforcer (Ice Hockey)

Enforcer (ice hockey)

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Enforcer is an unofficial role in ice hockey. The term is sometimes used synonymously with "fighter", "tough guy", or "goon". NHL players regarded as enforcers include Tiger Williams, Bob Probert, Dave Semenko, Dave Schultz, Tie Domi, Dave Brown, Joey Kocur, Raitis Ivanans, Clark Gillies, Stu Grimson, and Terry O'Reilly.

An enforcer's job is to deter and respond to dirty or violent play by the opposition. When such play occurs, the enforcer is expected to respond aggressively, by fighting or checking the offender. Enforcers are expected to react particularly harshly to violence against star players or goalies.

Enforcers are different from pests, players who seek to agitate opponents and distract them from the game, without necessarily fighting them. The pest's primary role is to draw penalties from opposing players, thus "getting them off their game," while not actually intending to fight the opposition player (although exceptions to this do occur).

National Hockey League

At the NHL level, teams generally do not carry more than one player whose primary role is enforcer. Enforcers can play either forward or defense, although they are most frequently used as wingers on the 4th forward checking line. Prized for their aggression, size, checking ability, and fists, enforcers are typically less gifted at skill areas of the game than their teammates. Enforcers are typically among the lowest scoring players on the team...
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