Does the name Darcy Verot ring a bell?
The 33-year-old veteran of 37 NHL games, who is averaging about 10 penalty minutes per night (and about nine minutes of ice time) on the last-place team in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League is having one heck of a January.
First, the Vityaz Chekhov enforcer (I call him an enforcer, but I’m pretty sure they’re all enforcers) played key part in a huge series of brawls that forced the suspension of a January 9th game between his club and Jaromir Jagr’s Avangard Omsk – a game that featured a world record 840 penalty minutes (25 for Verot) in just 3:39.
Once he served his stiff, but deserved one game suspension (/sarcasm), something crazy happened – Darcy Verot went an entire five games without taking so much as a minor penalty, even doubling his point total to four during that span!
Old habits die hard though, and Verot soon realized that he wouldn’t beat his personal best of 511 penalty minutes in a season by playing within the rules – either that or he thought no one was looking when he performed his latest act of goonery.
On the ensuing face-off after a CSKA Moscow goal made it a 4-1 game midway through the second period, Verot went right at Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Nikita Filatov and hit him with a fierce sucker punch, dropping him like a Russian…I mean a fly.
Verot was given five and a game for roughing and two minutes for slashing on the play, putting him back on track to set a new PB, and Filatov picked up his second assist of the night with his team on the power play.
The KHL needs to watch it with this kind of stuff though – a player like Filatov is only there because the Blue Jackets sent him on loan for the rest of the season. Teams will stop making deals like that if they think their prospects might get their heads caved in by some plug (or "tough guy" if Verot himself is reading this) trying to hit 600 penalty minutes.
Maybe the Jackets should send Jared Boll on loan to protect their investment!