Paul Kruse

Solid and sturdy with a bit of a mean streak, rugged Paul Kruse was more of an agitator than a true NHL heavyweight. That never stopped him from going toe to toe with some of the NHL's toughest hombres. He even took boxing lessons to become a better fighter.

But Paul Kruse nicely made a career for himself simply by working hard and listening to his coaches. He became a reliable defensive player, making safe plays and by being fundamentally sound positioning.

A naturally fast skater blessed with first-step quickness, Kruse w as relentless in his pursuit for loose pucks on the forecheck and in the corners. He never had the hand skills to do too much with the puck when he did get it, but he was smart enough to know his limitations.

As such the enthusiastic Kruse was a perfect 4th line player who could move up to the third line for stretches. His lack of production kept him on the bubble all the time.

He lasted 423 games in the NHL with Calgary, NY Islanders, San Jose and Buffalo. He scored 38 goals and 71 points, not to mention earning 1074 hard fought penalty minutes.


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