The amateur hockey season came to an end last night with the Windsor Spitfires beating the Eerie Otters for the CHL 2017 Memorial Cup.
What does that mean for Vegas?
It means their scouting season is official over and it’s time to shift into Entry-Draft mode. The Knights Hockey Operations crew will attend the NHL Draft Scouting Combine in Buffalo and continue to organize (what I assume is endless) notes and stats on potential future Knights.
All of this on top of the Expansion Draft!
Switching gears a bit…I recently watched Ice Guardians.
It’s very well done and handles the recent hot topics of enforcers and concussions very well; presenting both sides and giving valuable insight from the people that really matter–the guys in the locker room.
Here’s the link to the trailer if you haven’t seen it. Totally worth a watch and if you’re a hockey person, this documentary will get you pumped up.
The movie talks to a number of enforcers/players from over the years–one of which is Vegas resident (and a favorite of mine) George Parros.
Big George rules. A Princeton graduate with personality and a great mustache, Parros was a fan favorite wherever he played. When he retired a few years back, I always thought it was due to the injury he suffered while fighting Colton Orr. But, after watching Ice Guardians, I learned that George planned on continuing playing, except that the decision to retire was sort of made for him when he found out he’d be sent down to the minors. He explains that he didn’t want to have to go through the whole circuit again–fighting guys who are looking to make a name for themselves and so forth. So, he retired and took up a job with the NHL’s Player Safety division.
I’ve always been happy that he took the position and is still around the game. But as a hockey dork, I wish he was still playing.
When it was announced that the Knights would enter the league, I couldn’t help but think how badass it would be if Parros came out of retirement to play for the Knights.
Is it that far of a stretch to think he’d come out of retirement?
Maybe. But most guys would come back if given the opportunity.
With that in mind, let’s think about it for a minute…
Like I said before, he’s a fan favorite wherever he goes and a great ambassador for the game and team/city he plays for. Since he calls Vegas home now, he’d be an ideal candidate to help sell the game to the city and surrounding areas.
Depending on how the Expansion and Entry drafts go, there is a good chance that Vegas could have some young, unproven guys in the lineup. Expansion teams are often under a microscope to begin with–combine that with potential rookies up front and you could have a team that might be pushed around a bit (both physically and on the scoreboard) by established clubs. Having a seasoned veteran with a physical presence could certainly help maintain some balance on the ice and make the opposition think twice about possibly taking advantage of inexperienced Knights. He’d also be an asset when speaking with the media.
As a 37-year old enforcer, George might be considered too old and lacking certain skills that the Knights could be looking for. But Parros is still in shape and has a couple years left in him, in my opinion. He also offers things that can’t be measured on a scoresheet: heart/will, determination, grit and a tough brand that echoes back to the era of old school hockey; not to mention one helluva accurate shot.
Vegas just seems like too perfect of an opportunity. I can see the big man being a real cornerstone for the brand new team and a city that’s eager for hockey–even if it’s for a season or two. He could really help them get on their feet.
Big George gets my vote.
Get on the phone, McPhee, and get it done!
All for now,
Second City Knight