i think the thing to remember is that most enforcers rack up all their fights against each other. the role of the enforcer may still exist on many teams, but the value is almost nill.
the entire concept of an enforcer is to protect your star player from getting run. yet the wings have a guy in kronwall that can make those bone crushing, career ending hits. yet when he makes one, its not like the enforcer comes out and does anything about it. i can't even find kronwall listed on hockeyfights.com! so what kind of deterrent is an enforcer when guys can do whatever they want out there with no fear of retribution?
another example would be that weasel matt cooke. we all remember that great photo of evander kane punching his face in. it was a classic. we all got a kick out of it. but did getting his face beat in (by a non enforcer for that matter) change the way he plays? not at all. dude is still as douchey as ever and takes runs at players all the time. and look at cookes fight history. a player as dirty as him should be regularly getting time with enforcers if they were actually doing their job. but on his career fight list you see names like kovulchuk and pominville, not crombeen, orr, etc.
so just how exactly are enforcers deterrents when they never actually deter? and lets be honest here, is there really even much of a role in 'changing the momentum' when 2 guys that are basically unimportant to the outcome of the game square off right at the start?
Regarding your reference to Kronwall...it is not an enforcers job to fight someone who made a legal open ice hit. The effects of Kane punching Cooke in the face are not quantifiable.
You perhaps don't understand the role of an enforcer/agitator... it may include fighting, but doesn't have to. There wasn't a single fight in the Chicago series if I re-call but I think the Chicago players who were gooning it up (Bickell, Shaw(?)) definitely played a part in swinging the momentum that resulted in Detroit losing the series. I would have liked to have had our own guy out there... a Shanahan, McCarty, Downey, Tootoo to to give some back. Fact is, Tootoo is the only guy on our team right now who will do that... the rest of em act like emotionless automatons most of the time.
Long story short, I think an agitator who is willing to drop the gloves (Tootoo) is highly beneficial to a team... at the very least it's extremely entertaining to watch.
Edited by RedWingsDad, 22 August 2013 - 04:10 PM.