Kid's got plenty of punch

CHRIS STEVENSON

, Last Updated: 8:41 AM ET

Jeremy Yablonski, fighting for a job in the Senators organization on a pro tryout, has some experience in the octagon.

It's just not too much experience.

The tough winger, a six-time Canadian Golden Gloves boxing champ, branched out into mixed martial arts combat this summer. His fights lasted just 19 and 17 seconds respectively and, yes, he was the one left standing.

"It was a great experience. It was a good team thing. We had a good fight team, a lot like a hockey team, everybody pushed themselves," said the 27-year-old, who played last year for the Idaho Steelheads of the East Coast Hockey League and fought for a team called Twisted Genetics based in Boise, Idaho.

"It was just something that I did in the summer for training. I found some time and the guys wanted me to get into some fights since I was doing well. It has to be the hardest training I've ever done. It is just amazing the way those guys train for fights. It's a whole other level."

Fighting in the heavyweight division, he crushed Rudy Martin in 19 seconds with a right hand in his MMA debut (you can see it on YouTube) with his Steelhead teammates on hand to provide support.

In July, he needed only 17 seconds and a kick to the head to finish off Justin Peterson.

Yablonski has fought his way through the minors for the last six years. He has played one NHL game, with the St. Louis Blues in 2003-04, and won a scrap with Philadelphia Flyers' Todd Fedoruk.

Boxing had been a big part of Yablonski's life. He grew up in Saskatchewan playing hockey and boxing, winning three straight provincial championships and those Golden Gloves titles. He'll continue to be involved in MMA, but as a training tool.

"I'll keep doing it in the summer for training, but I don't think it's something I want to pursue as a career," he said. "Hockey is what I love to do and I'll do this for as long as I can."

It was kind of disappointing to see both Yablonski and Senators' resident tough guy Brian McGrattan on the same team for training camp, but like Yablonski said, they don't have anything to prove.

"We'll both work on our games, I guess," said Yablonski. "But you never know who you're going to run into out there. If it comes, I'll toss off the gloves as fast as I can."

Yablonski could be the enforcer for Binghamton.

"They're trying to re-establish everything there. Hopefully we'll have a hard-working team," said Yablonski.

"Hopefully we can run some teams over and go from there."

THE RAZOR'S EDGE

Senators coach John Paddock said he wouldn't mind seeing goaltender Ray Emery show a little more combativeness -- on the ice, anyway.

"I don't think Ray has done anything in the NHL at all, confrontation-wise. Teams have tried to goad him into situations and he's, to me, sometimes, he's been too content. He's too quiet in there. I have no issues about Ray's temperament on the ice and his composure. I think it's been outstanding."

OFF THE ICE?

"Let's not discuss them," said Paddock, laughing.

Here and there

Tickets for the Senators' first 15 regular-season games go on sale this morning at 10 a.m. That covers games to the end of November. Tickets can be purchased on line at capitaltickets.ca, by phone at 613-599-FANS or in person at Sports Experts locations in the National Capital region or at the Scotiabank box office. Tickets to home games in December and January will go on sale Nov. 10.


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