The Ottawa Sun has an interesting piece on Sens enforcer Brian McGrattan, which features some pretty candid quotes from McGrattan:
"I understand my role here. I don't have a great education. My brother has a university degree, but I hated school. I couldn't wait to get out. I have a choice: Back home working in the steel mill or fight for 20 seconds with 20,000 people cheering. The people love it. I really don't care what some people's negative perception of me might be. They can think what they want."I have to admit that I have a soft spot for enforcers (not to be confused with goons because there is a difference). McGrattan doesnt feel sorry for himself at all, but you can tell that he yearns to play for more then 3 minutes a night or be a healthy scratch more often then not. I cant blame him. There is no doubt that big, physical players belong in the league, but post lockout there seems to be a sense that there is very little middle ground for these guys -- they are either meant to keep the other team in line, or to be benched.
With all the focus on small, speedy players after the lockout, many of these enforcers have been put in the position of trying to validate their role. Just look at our own Donald Brashear, who astutely assessed where the NHL was headed after the lockout and made sure that he showed he was much more then just ice police. Brasher has played a vital role for the Caps, including energy guy on a line with Matt Bradley to shake up the opposing team's forwards with hard hits and has most importantly played the role of enforcer competently (ahem, John Erskine). I'm not scared that Donald Brasher is going to make a foolish mistake every time he steps off the bench, which I'm note sure that Flyers fans can say about Steve Downie or Rangers fans about Colton Orr. Dont tell me that players like Brash should be on the ice for a maximum of three minutes a game.
Wow, I guess that was more of a rant then a post on Brian McGrattan, but I do hope that he finds a team that can value his play and give him a role similar to Brashear's. Something tells me that Brian McGrattan will surprise a lot of people as a solid fourth line center, once he gets a fair shake.