Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/12/13
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 had signed a two-year contract with the Phoenix Coyotes organization and with David taking the ice against the Leafs in the centre of the hockey universe the proud parents were ready to savour the moment. “We were excited” says Janet a lively 45-year-old grandmother who works as a payroll assistant at Husky Energy. “And then seconds in it was sickening.” The puck was dropped but their son and McLaren ignored the action developing around them and squared off in a bare-knuckle battle – an orchestrated brawl on blades sparked only by the older fighter’s need to justify his occupation and his young opponent’s desire to prove he belonged in the big time. It was David’s first NHL fight. To judge by the result he didn’t stand a chance. McLaren caught him off-balance with a powerful punch to the chin and he was out cold even as he began tumbling to the ice. An all-business McLaren skated straight to the penalty box while his victim lay prone and helpless on the white ice.
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