Troy Mallette

Troy Mallette certainly made quite the impact on the NHL when he first came into the league.

The 22nd overall draft pick in 1988, Mallette joined the New York Rangers a year later, tallying 13 goals and an  amazing 305 penalty minutes. He followed up that with a sophomore season that saw him register 12 goals and 252 penalty minutes.

Mallette's reputation was pretty much set by that stage. He was hard working, hard hitting winger who would crash and bang on his wall and in the corners. He could be counted on to score a few goals and drop the gloves regularly. But he was a bundle full of energy and guts, but he was not exactly the most menacing player in the league.

When the New York Rangers signed Adam Graves to a free agent contract in 1991, the NHL awarded the Oilers Mallette as compensation. Graves of course went on to become a 50 goal scorer in New York. After just 15 games Mallette demanded to be traded.

Mallette's wish was granted later in the season, moved to New Jersey in exchange for David Maley.  But he would not fit in well there either. He would sit out many games as a healthy scratch.

Mallette badly wanted to be a regular player, but increasingly it became obvious that if he was going to stay in the NHL he needed to accept the role of team goon. He didn't have the speed or puck skills to play a significantly bigger role, no matter what the uninformed free agency arbitrator said.

Mallette went on to play in Ottawa, Boston and Tampa Bay. When all was said and done he played in 456 NHL games, scoring 51 goals, 119 points and 1226 penalty minutes.


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