Chuck Norris Fears Greg Zanon

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Chuck Norris Fears Greg Zanon
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

{Author’s Note: Thanks to @wildmn34 on Twitter for the title idea for the article. I wish I could take credit for the awesomeness that is enclosed in the title of the article, but I just can’t.}

 

Seriously.

 

The title says it all.

 

If you want to know who the biggest off-season acquisition was for the Minnesota Wild, look no further than the man with the number six emblazoned on the back of his sweater.

 

Even if Martin Havlat wouldn’t have had his slow start and would have come on like gangbusters like he has, it would still be Zanon.

 

You need proof?

 

How does the tune of 180 shots blocked sound? That’s good for third in the league behind Andy Sutton and Dennis Seidenberg and almost 30 more than Nick Schultz blocked all of last season.

 

Maybe second on the team with hits (behind guess who) with 169 sounds a little better? Last season, the only player who had over 100 hits was our very own cult hero, Cal Clutterbuck.

 

How about leading the team in ice time, with 18:53 per game, more than even iron man Kim Johnsson averaged this season with us? Last season, the only player with more than 18 minutes of ice time was, once again, Johnsson with 19:36.

 

What about that, Zanon is averaging almost 20 seconds more per game on the penalty kill than anyone else on the team?

 

If that last one doesn’t have you convinced, try this on for size:

 

With the playoffs out of reach for the season, Greg Zanon has been playing his last handful of games on a broken ankle.

 

Why?

 

Because he refuses to be shut down by the coaching staff.

 

In Monday’s victory over the Los Angeles Kings, Zanon blocked a grand total of six blocked shots. Six!

 

That’s not even mentioning that one of said blocked shots was a 90+ mph slap shot that ricocheted off of his lil’ Zanon’s.

 

His response after the game?

 

“Good thing I have kids already,” said in a high pitched, squeaky voice.

 

And the best part about all of this is that he’s rubbing off on players. He’s leading by example.

 

Now, most people would comment and say that Zanon is an idiot for not shutting it down at this point in the season. The Wild have no real shot of making the playoffs, they’re primarily playing for pride now, so why should he risk it?

 

Admittedly, the same thought crossed my mind as well, but I came to one conclusion.

 

It’s for the same reason why teams begin to play more physical during big losses.

 

To send a message.

 

Zanon is sending a message to his team for next season.

 

This is what we need to do. This is the type of warrior you need to be. This is the type of dedication that we need to win.

 

The Wild anthem, played during the first intermission of every home game, has a line that says, “We will fight to the end, We will stand and defend, Our flag flying high and free,” and there is no better example of this than Greg Zanon this season.

 

Zanon is not going to give up—he’s not going to “pack it in.”

 

He’s going to stand and fight until the end of the season. He knows that in just a few short weeks, he’ll have all off season to let his bumps and bruises heal. But for now, he’s a hockey player in the NHL and he’s going to do the best thing that he can do.

 

Just play.

 

This is why Zanon is the most important acquisition of the off season. This is why he might even be one of the most important players on the Minnesota Wild.

 

Because Greg Zanon doesn’t shave, he kicks himself in the face. The only thing that can cut Greg Zanon is Greg Zanon.

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