Enforcer: (in sports) a strong, aggressive, or intimidating player whose role is to protect teammates or dominate an area of the field of play. Jared Boll was just such a player for the Anaheim Ducks.
The Enforcer, the one guy on the ice nobody messes with but everyone respects. Last week, one of our Anaheim Ducks, winger Jared Boll retired after eleven seasons, following a brief stint with the San Diego Gulls.
Now to those who follow me on Twitter, you know how devastated I was to hear the news of his retirement. For those who don’t follow me, let me explain.
Back when the Anaheim Ducks signed Jared in the offseason leading up to the 2016-2017 season, a lot of fans (myself included) were pretty confused. But, like a lot of Bob Murray’s signings recently, it wasn’t shocking. Little did I know, this signing would be one that has a lasting effect on me today.
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Thanks to Twitter user @thegcducksfan, or George, the next two season would be one meme filled adventure. A small group of us have spent the better part of a year referring to him as The Supreme Leader, Lord Grittenhouse, and other things along those lines. Also inserting ” #grit ” into almost every conversation we’d have. Even going as far as dubbing ourselves The Jared Boll Fan Club™.
You’re probably sitting there, reading this thinking, “Wow, that’s pretty annoying and kinda mean, mocking the guy!” Yes, it is. I can’t speak for the other guys, but to be quite honest, I admire and respect the guy a whole lot. Especially given the circumstances under which Boll had to retire.
While the details of his injury with Gulls were never entirely clear to me, the back troubles he faced at the end of our playoff run in 2017 ultimately caught up him and required another major surgery this offseason.
Being an enforcer in the current NHL is a dying role. The game is just too fast and focused entirely on skills and talent, compared to how it was just a few decades ago where teams needed guys like Boll to protect their superstars.
All jokes aside, I will miss Jared. I never met him, but the consensus I could gather from people who have is that he’s a really sweet guy. I wish him all the best in his retirement, and I hope that life after hockey is easy on his body. It takes some serious guts to willingly put your body on the line for the well being of your teammates.
When all is said and done, Jared might not have been an elite scorer with flashy moves and great hands, but he played with heart and was willing to throw down with the some of the league’s toughest. Oh and one last thing:
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Don’t let any of this sentimental stuff distract from the fact that he broke Jonathan Quick and gave us one of the greatest goal celebrations in history.