Guys like David Dziurzynski aren’t supposed to attract attention.
But there he was last March seconds into his 10th NHL game waiting for the puck to drop at the Air Canada Centre – a big quiet 23-year-old from Lloydminster Alta. who’d forced his way into hockey’s spotlight despite going undrafted in a junior career that never got beyond a low-level club in Port Alberni B.C.
Something was wrong with this picture. The bruising third-line grinder for the Ottawa Senators didn’t belong on the ice this early in the game and the Toronto Maple Leafs took notice.
In hockey’s body language Ottawa was sending a message that it intended to play a hard physical style in what’s become known as the Battle of Ontario and Toronto answered the call – Leaf tough guy Frazer McLaren 6 foot 5 lined up opposite the lanky 6-foot-3 Dziurzynski.
Back home in Lloydminster – Lloyd to the locals – Janet and Lauren Dziurzynski could be excused for missing the cues. Earlier in the day their younger son Darian...