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One-on-One with Patrick BordeleauTweet
A lot of athletes say that they really had to fight to make it to this level. Monsters left winger Patrick Bordeleau means it.
Drafted in the 4th round by the Minnesota Wild in 2004, the Montreal native turned pro during the 2007-08 season after leaving St. Thomas University. He signed on a try-out with the Charlotte Checkers of the East Coast Hockey League and played 10 games before moving on to stints with the Wheeling Nailers and Pensacola Ice Pilots to wrap up the season.
Bordeleau bounced around, playing for nine ECHL and AHL teams – including a previous stop with the Monsters – before resigning with Lake Erie prior to the 2009-10 season.
The 6-6, 225-pounder finally found the right home – and the right role: as the Monsters enforcer. In his first full season in Cleveland, he played in a professional-high 60 games, piling up 106 penalty minutes to conclude his longest stretch with any one team.
This past June, Bordeleau inked a one year, two-way contract with the Colorado Avalanche of the NHL. But for now, the Monsters resident tough guy remains ready to rumble right here on the North Coast.
LakeErieMonsters.com sat down with Bordeleau to ask him about settling down in Cleveland, how he became the Monsters enforcer and, of course, how he’d fare against some of the hockey world (and real and fictional world’s) toughest tough guys:
After a slow start, the team has been hot lately. What do you credit for the turnaround?
And I think the team has been doing that since after the first three weeks of the season.
After moving around a lot earlier in your career, it’s it good to finally settle with one team?
But I got called up here at the end of the year a few years ago and I found a place where they liked me, I liked them. And it’s been a good deal, so far.
How did you become an enforcer?
I’ve always been really aggressive when I was younger, fighting at school and everything. I like to fight. And at 20 years old, I decided that I had to fight if I wanted to make it.
But you don’t want to be known as just the team’s designated scrapper?
But here in the American Hockey League, you have to play simple. And that’s actually been a problem for me. I’ve been trying to play a little too much.
I try to be just a really simple guy and this is what’s going to put me in the NHL if I do it.
What’s the secret to winning a hockey fight?
But I would say balance, aim and punch hard. And fast, too.
Who’s the second-toughest guy on the team?
Those two would have a good fight. But there’s no way they could beat me.
What was the best fight you’ve ever seen?
Is “goon” a dirty word?
But I don’t mind “goon.” I like to be the goon.
On a serious note, over the past summer, multiple enforcers – Derek Boogard, Rick Rypien and Wade Belak – passed away. What are your thoughts on that?
But I think the big cause of problems is the concussions. It’s not because they’re tough guys. It’s more about concussions. Guys who get concussions can sometimes get depressed and then it's how they may or may not deal with that.
(Enforcers) get more concussions than the skill guys.
Have you ever gotten one?
Ever lost a fight?
How about a little hockey fight pick’em? You versus the following guys …
OK – Bob Probert …
But … everyone else.
Like Dave Semenko?
Tim “Dr. Hook” McCracken?
Mike Tyson in his prime?
On skates … any time of the day, though.
How about out-of-shape “Hangover” Mike Tyson?
Does it help to be a tall guy in a hockey fight?
So I would say for me, the way I fight, it’s good to be tall. Because I like to go punch for punch and knock the guys out. But a small guy likes to be small, cause they can get into you and be quicker and all that. But I like to be tall.
Do you still have all your chiclets?
UFC’s Cain Velasquez?
I actually tried MMA this summer. That’s not for me. I won one and I lost one. The first fight went really well. I knocked the guy out, and that was fun. But the second one didn’t go too well. I got stitches on my nose and everything. And I got knocked out.
Do you hone your fighting skills in the offseason?
I mean, no offense, but you can’t ask David van der Gulik to fight. He doesn’t have it in him. Even if he’s mad, he’s not going to fight. He’ll stick the guy or something. But for me, it’s an instinct.
My dad was a fighter. I’m a fighter. My son will be a fighter. I guess it’s in our blood.
What about Rocky Balboa?
How about Dave Brown of the Broad Street Bullies?
Last one: Marty McSorely?
You know, us French guys got to stick together.
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