Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Meet Mr. Koci

I'm guessing Reebok didn't put an awful lot of thought into the aerodynamically improved tie-down system.

I've never written about this David Koci fellow, but he's got a pretty interesting rap sheet. For one, he's probably the only Czech heavyweight I've ever seen (correct me if I'm wrong), and he's put up 105 PIMs in just 14 career NHL games (which would equal out to 615 over an 82 game season).

He first showed up in the bigs toward the end of last season (March 10), picked up 42 PIMs in his first game and was well on his way to, well, to whatever guys like this go on to. (Brain damage?)

I know some fans out this way will want to make a case for Bryan McCabe, but Koci's quite possibly the least talented player in the league. He's played 65:57 minutes in his NHL career, including 1:43 on the power play and five seconds shorthanded. (Which the bright bulbs will note means he's been in the box more than on the ice.)

I'm afraid I don't know what he's doing in the league.
"I want to play a hard, physical game and play tough in front of the net, but I don't want to be stupid by looking for a fight," said Koci, a winger. "But when somebody goes after Kane, [Jonathan] Toews, [Martin] Havlat and guys like that ... I'm there to answer the message."
Pssst... you mean "send a message."



At 3:14 a.m., October 23, 2007, Blogger Menzies said...

Belak's historic run notwithstanding (what is he at, like 500 games without a goal?), I'm not the biggest Wade fan. That out of the way, I think Belak got the best of him. Why? If you're going to scrap, take off your bloody helmut. There's been so many (too many) fights this year for nothing. If you're going to scrap then drop your gloves and ditch your helmut. Come on boys... Make it worth something, no?

At 3:28 a.m., October 23, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont see how he is the worst player. Boogaard has played over 100 games more and only has 7 points.Cam Janssen and McGrattan cannot be too far behind.

At 4:50 a.m., October 23, 2007, Anonymous Eric said...

I use to read Mirtle for insightful commentary, now I get this.

Koci is a warrior! Just as most tough guys in the league are, he shows up nightly and does his best to answer the bell when needed.

He does the role the team asks of him. He wasn't brought in to be the next Mario Lemiuex, or even the next Bob Probert for that matter.

Just because his role includes dropping the gloves that's no reason to call him the "least skilled player in the NHL."

It takes a lot more skill then you think to stay on your skates when someone is trying to pummel your face bloody while throwing haymakers.

At 6:41 a.m., October 23, 2007, Blogger vakfan said...

Come on, you can´t pick one of those guys and say you don´t know what he is doing in the league. Boogaard, Godard, Mc Grattan and Belak are more skilled players?

At 9:02 a.m., October 23, 2007, Blogger Chemmy said...

If you're going to be a goon you should at least win a fight. Koci looked like he just performed open heart surgery in the box after that fight, there was blood all over him.

By the way, Belak rules (but not at playing hockey).

At 10:19 a.m., October 23, 2007, Blogger saskhab said...

Raitis Ivanans made the NHL. Case closed.

When Ivanans made the Habs out of training camp a couple years back, I remember hearing from some people who saw him in Tier II back when he was a teenager. They simply asked, "did he actually learn how to skate?" They simply couldn't believe, goon or not, that a man that little ability on the ice could make it.

It sometimes is truly amazing what passes for a NHL player when you suddenly include goons. If you had a league with no fighting, these guys wouldn't crack the ECHL.

At 10:22 a.m., October 23, 2007, Anonymous keith said...

Players like Jarome Iginla are warriors.

Players like David Koci (and Zach Stortini) are roster filler. They have no talent, and barely belong in the AHL, but simply being being a circus side show, he probably sells a couple tickets.

But hell, everyone dreams of a return to the NHL's "glory days". Well, thsoe days included plenty of Koci like players. Guys who had no business in the league.

At 12:30 p.m., October 23, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Heh, of all the things to take issue with...

Okay, if anyone can make a case that there is a player in the NHL with worse numbers than Koci, who has seven goals through eight seasons in the WHL, ECHL, AHL and NHL, I'll amend this post.

McGrattan had two 20 goal seasons in junior.

At 12:46 p.m., October 23, 2007, Blogger saskhab said...

Well, somehow Ivanans managed 4 goals last year in the NHL, good enough for a 10.8% shooting percentage. Weird part of that is that he played for LA, and didn't get any of those shots against luminaries like Cloutier, Brust, and Fukufuji. Ivanans also once had 14 points in 66 UHL games in 2000-01, and finished at +17. Talk about talent.

At 1:21 p.m., October 23, 2007, Anonymous Gerald said...

It takes a lot more skill then you think to stay on your skates when someone is trying to pummel your face bloody while throwing haymakers.

Maybe, maybe not, but you would certainly not call it "hockey skill".

At 1:38 p.m., October 23, 2007, Blogger Adam C said...

Belak can skate backward. Can Koci?

At 2:26 p.m., October 23, 2007, Anonymous Ned Brilliant said...

Man, ya gotta love all of this spontaneous, heat of the moment fighting! Nothing contrived about that one!

Put them in the circus and have them bite the heads off of small animals. Entertainment on the same level.

At 3:12 p.m., October 23, 2007, Anonymous chelischalkoutlines said...

Obviously none of you watched Chara play for Boston last night. Reminded me of the days of Zdeno on the Island......brutal. What happened to the guy who played in Ottawa not too long ago that signed the big contract? Oh wait, the big contract and "C" on his jersey.....

At 3:27 p.m., October 23, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't criticize Koci for doing what he has done to make the NHL. I also have to admit a guilty pleasure in watching to very big men go at it, since I am involved with self defence training. The real culprits are the NHL and the PA for not reducing the rosters to 19 players duing the lockout. Then there would be no designated goons on the ice and the prearranged dancing we see on a nightly basis. There would still be fights but spontaneous ones between real players.

m parafect

At 5:00 p.m., October 23, 2007, Blogger Art Vandelay said...

Admittedly more famous for winning a lawsuit against Spawn, future Hall of Famer Tony Twist had 1G in junior (my buddy was working that game in the pressbox and he said he hadn't seen a place erupt like that since Henderson took a wild stab at it and fell), 6 in the IHL, and 10 in 445 NHL GP. That's enough games played to qualify for an NHL pension. 10 goals. 1125 PMs.

At 5:11 p.m., October 23, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

I remember the game when Rob Skrlac scored two goals for Kamloops, and the place was ridiculous. His second goal, the opposition net was empty with 30 seconds to go. Skrlac was tied up by a few players, but he managed to bunt the puck from centre ice, and it trickled in as time ticked away.

As much fun as that was, I can't believe he ever played eight games in the NHL.

At 8:55 p.m., October 23, 2007, Anonymous Gerald said...

The real culprits are the NHL and the PA for not reducing the rosters to 19 players duing the lockout. Then there would be no designated goons on the ice and the prearranged dancing we see on a nightly basis.

What's more, with the salary cap system the real players would get the goon's salary divided up between them somehow.

At 8:58 p.m., October 23, 2007, Blogger Brushback said...

I saw Koci play in the AHL last season, and based on that, I'll agree with you, James-- he's a no-talent bum.

Never mind skating; he's not even a particularly good fighter. He's like a European Mitch Fritz.


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