Darcy Hordichuk spent 12 NHL seasons dropping his gloves, using his fists to remind opponents of the cost for cheap shots at his teammates.
“I bring a physical presence,” Hordichuk said. “I've been known to throw my body around. I've had 285 career fights. I'm obviously not known for my goal scoring.”
That's an understatement.
Hordichuk, assigned to the Oklahoma City Barons two weeks ago by Edmonton, has 1,140 penalty minutes in 542 NHL games.
The left winger has scored only 41 career points. To put that in perspective Oilers' young star Jordan Eberle scored 51 points his three months with the Barons.
Now back in the American Hockey League for the first time in 10 years, Hordichuk wants to expand his game.
“At this level it's nice to see if you can chip in a couple (of goals) and hold onto the puck and be a little more patient,” Hordichuk said. “I can work on different things so I can help not only this team but when you get called up you're ready to go.”
Hordichuk, 32, frequently has been a healthy scratch his past NHL two seasons. He logged just eight minutes in four games this season with Edmonton. Most of his ice time went to younger players like former Barons Teemu Hartikainen, Magnus Paajarvi and Chris VandeVelde.
“He's been used mostly for that physical role but there's more to his game,” said general manager Bill Scott. “That's the benefit of coming down here. He can get more ice time and work on his all-around game rather than have one focus. This will help him become more of a complete player.”
Though scoreless in three games with the Barons, Hordichuk has helped the No. 4 line produce more scoring chances.
“With his reputation, he's made a name for himself so he gets more room to do things,” said coach Todd Nelson. “He's working his tail off here to improve his game.”