The Ivy enforcer

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI

, Last Updated: 12:45 PM ET

With the long, shaggy Woodstock hair, the '70s porn-star moustache and battle-scarred forehead and knuckles, six-foot-four, 235-pound George Parros can pass for a lot of things.

Economics grad from Princeton isn't one of them.

But the Anaheim enforcer is as smart as he is tough ... although some people might question that upon learning that he doesn't actually have to fight people for a living if he doesn't want to.

"This was always my first love," said the Ivy Leaguer, who has wanted to be in the NHL since back when he was beating up Harvard dudes. "When I realized there might be a chance for me to play professionally I jumped at the opportunity.

"I never even pursued a real job. I figured I'd put all my eggs in one basket and see how far it takes me."

It's taken him to the fringe of the NHL, at $450,000 a season. Half his graduating class probably makes more than that, without ever getting punched in the face.

But the 26-year-old wouldn't change it for the world.

"Toward the end of my years at Princeton I realized I might have a chance to start out in the minors and work my way up,'' he said. "At that point I never even thought about a career in finance. This is all I ever wanted to do."

And after hockey?

"A front office job in hockey."

STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES: Somebody asked Calgary Flames defenceman Andrew Ference if it's weird that teams in the East only visit teams in the West once every three years.

"I don't know about weird," he said, "Calling it weird gives it credibility. It's stupid. Fans deserve to see all the players every year. It's not weird, it's dumb."

Carolina's Cory Stillman has a solution, though, for everyone griping about not seeing the young guns of the East like Sidney Crosby: "You can buy the hockey package and watch him play 82 games."

NO ADVANTAGE POINT: How is giving TSN's play-by-play guy the crummiest vantage point in the building an innovation? You know it's not progress when the last people to try it were the Russians 30 years ago ... Georges Laraque has 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in his last 10 games. In other news, Heritage Classic II will now be played in hell ... The West has come to this: Vancouver has only reached the three-goal mark twice in their last 17 starts, and they're two points out of a playoff spot.

GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY: The St. Louis Blues, who couldn't attract flies to their building if it was Rotten Meat Night, finally get a packed house for Brett Hull's sweater retirement. And what do they do with their chance to win back all those fans? They were down 2-0 and being outshot 11-0 before rink attendants even finished rolling up the carpet. "You've got a full building, there's a lot of electricity in the air, and they're not ready to play?" coach Mike Kitchen seethed after the 5-1 disaster. "Come on."

NO GUTS, NO GLORY: Next time a player moans about struggling to get adjusted after a trade, tell them about Todd Fedoruk. He breaks his cheekbone in a fight, gets traded while he's still recovering and in his first game back after 18 games on IR he gets a goal and an assist and finishes plus-2 ... Dominik Hasek had the best backhanded compliment ever when describing Hull to the Detroit News: "We knew he was a little bit lazy, and he was a little bit overweight. But we knew he could play. Nobody before him, and nobody after him, had the same type of shot like him." ... The Avs were 20-0-1-1 all-time against Columbus. Ken Hitchcock comes on board and the new look BJ's shut them out 3-0 ... Why hasn't hockey taken off in L.A.? The Kings have made it past the second round of the playoffs once in 39 seasons.

WORST OF BOTH WORLDS: The Phoenix Coyotes haven't won a road game this year against a team not named St. Louis. It's hard to tell if that's more of an indictment against Phoenix or St. Louis ... The Habs must be allergic to swamp water; they are 1-19-4 in their last 24 visits to New Jersey ... Sad on so many levels: Had the Blackhawks beaten Minnesota Tuesday, it would have been their first four-game winning streak in four years. They lost in a shootout ... Stupid, but nonetheless interesting stat of the week: Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist has only been given the hook twice in his NHL career: Dec 3, 2005, and Dec. 3, 2006. Thought you should know.


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