The most interesting man in hockey: Montreal’s minister of moustachery is the thinking-man’s goon
They are called goons. And almost every team has one. They are hockey players who cannot skate or shoot the puck particularly well, who spend most of the game either sitting on the bench or in the penalty box, and whose only impact on the game is to drop their sticks and gloves on the ice and take part in orchestrated fights.
The general thinking is that these players, who some call cement heads, cavemen or worse, will eventually be phased out of the league because of anti-fighting rules or they will do it to themselves with their fists.
So when George Parros, a Montreal Canadiens forward, suffered a concussion and had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher after getting into a fight against Colton Orr of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night, it looked like yet another mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragger had become a victim of hockey’s version of Darwinism.
Except Parros does not fit the mould of the uneducated, unskilled enforcer. He is not a dumb jock. He might be a goon, but he is one who is armed with a 70s-style moustache as well as an Ivy League education and the distinction of being named the fourth-smartest athlete by the Sporting News.
In other words, he should know better. And yet he does not.
A graduate of Princeton, where he had a 3.16 grade point average and earned a degree in economics, Parros speaks Spanish and once worked on the Chicago Stock Exchange. During the lockout, he was part of the players’ association bargaining committee in negoatiations for a new CBA. He shaves his head once a year so kids with cancer can have custom-made wigs, and he appeared in a campaign for You Can Play, the organization aimed at making sports more welcoming for gay athletes. (Photo: Dario Ayala / THE GAZETTE)