When you’re an enforcer in the NHL, your life mission is clear and cut: Your job is to fight and stand up for your teammates against those heathen aggressors on the opposing team. For former Sabres and Devils enforcer Andrew Peters, he found out his skillset wasn’t as in demand as it once was and with that he announced his retirement at the age of 31 after six NHL seasons.
In six seasons, Peters played in 229 games and scored just four goals and three assists. He finished his career with 650 penalty minutes and a legacy that’s seen him be one of the few forwards in NHL history to fight a goalie as he did with Ray Emery back in 2007. The legacy of a fighter in the NHL isn’t one filled with glamorous goals and highlight-reel skating, but is instead loaded with brawls both amazing and pointless at times.
Over his NHL career, and according to fantastic website HockeyFights.com, Peters went toe-to-toe with an opponent 80 times in the regular season over his career and left his mark on the NHL in his rookie season fighting 23 times. When you come out thundering like that right away, it sets the bar awfully high the rest of the way and for Peters he was never able to reach such heights again. It likely didn’t help him much that his sole skill was to intimidate and fight opponents. Other enforcers of his age developed the ability to either be more of a physical presence as a checker or an ability to help even a little bit offensively.
As a goon aficionado, I can appreciate what Peters did over his short career and the incredible Buffalo-Ottawa brouhaha in 2007 still serves to make an incredibly bizarre highlight reel (we’re sure Martin Biron is forever grateful for Peters sticking up for him) but in an age where the enforcer is a bit of a dying breed, we salute you and your Clubber Lang-like fists of fury Andrew Peters.