Colby Armstrong, the Complete Package: What the Toronto Maple Leafs Need

Joe GillenCorrespondent IDecember 9, 2010

Colby Armstrong AKA (Arm Dog)
Colby Armstrong AKA (Arm Dog)Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

Colby Armstrong is far from the king of the jungle, but he won’t back down from anyone in the NHL. The 6’2", 195 lbs forward signed a $9 million deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the summer of 2010. Colby Armstrong is a "Burke type" player; he brings sandpaper/grit, something the Leafs have been needing and been lacking lately.

Colby Armstrong is considered the team joker and clown amongst his teammates. All jokes aside, Colby leads by example on and off the ice. Colby is verbal on the ice and on the bench, always talking it up and getting his teammates pumped up.

Armstrong over his career has never been the top goalscorer or a go to guy for the big goals, but more of the gritty, in your face, big open ice hitter that can change the momentum of a game.

Colby’s best season came when he was a member of the 2008-2009 Atlanta Thrashers, where he notched 22 goals and 40 points in 82 games. He was honored by the Thrashers with the 2009 Dan Snyder memorial trophy award, given annually to the Thrasher who best embodies perseverance, dedication and hard work without reward or recognition, so that his teammates might succeed.

Colby Armstrong was selected with the 21st pick overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2001 NHL entry draft. Armstrong played three seasons with the Pens, and was a key component to the Pens' success. Pittsburgh fans to this day still wish they had Colby; he was a fan favourite in a lot of fans' books. Armstrong will be the first to admit he’s not a flashy or spectacular player, but more of a hard two-way player.

Toronto Maple Leaf fans are already starting to see what Colby can bring to the table. The Leafs are a more physical team with Colby in the lineup, and that’s something teammates thrive off with his gritty determination/attitude and winning personality. 

I think Mr. Burke needs more sandpaper-type players on his roster. Players such as Orr, Brown and Arm Dog are the type of players a NHL team needs to be successful. The names I just mentioned are your hard hat type guys, the guys who bring their construction hats and lunch pails every night and work their hearts out.

Say what you want about there not being room in this NHL era for the heavyweights and tough guys, but I’ll disagree with you 150 percent. You need those type of players; they open up the ice and lanes for the scorers to work.