SUN Hockey Pool

Laraque not surprised

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:58 AM ET

There aren't many tough guys who can stand up to six-foot-seven, 250-pound Minnesota enforcer Derek Boogaard. It just so happens Georges Laraque, who has battled the Boogeyman four times in the past two seasons, is one of them.

It's no surprise to the former Edmonton Oilers beat cop that there weren't any takers Tuesday in St. Paul after Boogaard ran Ales Hemsky and knocked him out of a game the Oilers went on to win 2-1.

"To find somebody who can stand up to Boogaard is pretty much impossible," Laraque said yesterday. "That guy is a monster, you know?

"The Oilers play four-line hockey. They have four lines going. Who are they going to get to fit in there, to play regularly, be a contributor and also be good at what he does?"

Laraque, 30, kept Boogaard honest with a trio of tilts in 2005-06, which was the towering forward's rookie season and Laraque's last with the Oilers. Cut loose last summer after he made a no-trade clause request, Laraque says the Oilers rolled the dice and took their chances. What they got Tuesday has happened more than once this season.

"I'm just surprised they took that gamble, especially with Boogaard in the division, too," said Laraque."... When you're a young team with a lot of skill like the Oilers, it's a big risk to take."


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