Penguins' Engelland becomes feared fighter

| Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010

Hockey players surely appreciate players with immense talent. For all the wondrous skill on display in the NHL, however, there is something about an fist fight that gets everyone's attention.

When a lethal fighter emerges, word spreads fast.

The Penguins' Deryk Engelland has quickly become a feared fighter, and on the Penguins' recent western swing, it became clear that his name has surfaced in more than a few locker rooms.

"We all know about him," Dallas agitator extraordinaire Steve Ott said. "It looks like the league has a new super heavyweight."

Ott said all of the Stars are well aware of Engelland and his recent exploits.

Engelland knocked Toronto's Colton Orr out of a recent game with a big right hand.

"Knocked him out," Ott said.

Engelland bloodied Philadelphia's Jody Shelley as well.

"Knocked him out too," Ott said. "We saw."

The Internet has changed everything, including the way hockey players can access action around the league.

Ott sounds as though he has bookmarked on his computer.

"We go to and other sites all the time," he said. "We love watching it. We all do."

Engelland isn't exceptionally big for a fighter, but Ott wanted nothing to do with him anyway. Watching the video of Engelland's vicious right hand was all the Dallas winger needed to see.

"He's out of my weight class," Ott said with a smile. "He's obviously throwing them pretty hard right now. It gets your attention, that's for sure. It's not always the biggest guy, and he's obviously a great fighter. We're all very well aware of him."

Engelland doesn't mind the recognition at all. In fact, he seems to enjoy it.

As a newcomer in the NHL, fighters often have to seek out opposing heavyweights as a way of earning respect, and, in some cases, earning their paycheck.

Of course, when you've already obliterated two of the league's best fighters, you don't have to prove yourself any longer.

"It's good, I guess, that other people notice," Engelland said. "It will probably give me a few extra fights instead of me having to go look for them. I guess it gives me a name."

And it certainly gives him a reputation.

NHL heavyweights love a good challenge, and thanks to modern information, Engelland's name is out there in a big way.

He doesn't intend on running away from any challenges.

"You always have to be careful, because you never want to give the other team any kind of a spark," Engelland said. "But I'm always going to be there for guys, and I'm always going to jump in. It just depends on the situation."

Every time Engelland jumps in, NHL players all across North America will be watching.

"We always know what's going on," Ott said. "And he's the kind of guy you must be aware of."

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