Hollweg brings grit to ice

JODY VANCE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:49 AM ET

Mark Bell might have snagged Tie Domi's old no. 28, but it would appear that it is Ryan Hollweg who will lay claim to Domi's role for his new club.

In his first ever game as a Toronto Maple Leaf, Hollweg showed his brand of hockey, in case anyone was unaware of his rock 'em, sock 'em style.

He put any and all opposition on notice that he will be the pest in blue and white.

Most of us got to know this guy after he took a two-handed chop to the chops, compliments of Chris Simon back in March.

Like so many super-pests who are notorious around the NHL, Hollweg would definitely fall in that category as the one you hate playing against but love on your team.

At 5-foot-11, 210 lbs., he's more Domi or Darcy Tucker than Ken Baumgartner or the 6-foot-5 Wade Belak -- but he throws his weight around like the bigger bunch.

Playing far beyond his stature, this guy brings a presence to the ice that will no doubt have fans on their feet. Everyone will watch no. 44 when he gets the tap from his coach.

Another role that Ron Wilson will look to Hollweg to fulfill is to continue to be the good guy in the room. Chemistry is key, particularly with a young team like the '08-'09 Leafs, and Hollweg is known to be loose and very popular behind the scenes -- it doesn't hurt that he is a maestro with the media.

He's a bit of a YouTube sensation with some serious pre-game dance moves, but I digress.

This is serious business for Hollweg as many count his team out before the season even begins ,but it is guys like him who take that tag and turn it into a challenge.

Grinders are always the underdogs and they love to take bites out of any who might underestimate them.

-- Jody Vance is a sportscaster and personality with Leafs TV. Her columns appear Tuesdays and Thursdays in 24 hours.


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