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Hockey player/MMA fighter Jeremy Yablonski signs with Islanders

Jul 22, 2010, 2:41 PM EDT

Leave it to the New York Islanders to make a baffling yet potentially highly entertaining move. The Islanders signed a soon-to-be Bridgeport Sound Tiger Jeremy Yablonski to a one-year two-way deal. You, the good fans that you are, are now likely asking, “Who is Jeremy Yablonski and why do I care?”

For a scouting report, one-time prospect turned blogger Justin Bourne, son of former Islanders great Bob Bourne, gave a first-hand scouting report of Yablonski on Twitter.

Signing guys like Boogaard/Yablonski will be considered stone-age real soon. Waste of a roster spot. Sure Yabo is a 2-way, but man…

Was in Utah when Yabo was in Idaho. He left rink in painted-on tee, cage fought a yr later. Cannot actually “play hockey” unfortunately.

In 07 I lined up beside Yablonski, his stick at waist height. “Not even gonna put that on the ice, huh?” *puck drops* WHACK! What an athlete

All right, so Yablonski has a bit of a rough and tumble reputation. What do his stats tell us though? Pretty much the same thing.

Last year with the AHL Binghamton Senators, Yablonski played 27 games, scored one goal and racked up 128 penalty minutes, which is good for an average of 4.74 penalty minutes per game. Yikes. Islanders Point Blank’s Chris Botta too found the signing curious and oddly helpful as well.

The kids at both Bridgeport and New York need someone to have their backs. (The great Mike Fornabaio of the CT Post tweeted that the lack of toughness was “no laughing matter” in Bridgeport. If the Islanders are not ready to contend on the ice, it doesn’t hurt to win the occasional fight (“this guy throws bombs” tweeted Jeff Marek of the CBC about Yablonski). Whatever small wage the Islanders are paying Yablonski, he’s worth it.

This is probably more virtual ink than Yablonski has gotten in his career, but there’s a role for everyone in hockey, even a guy whose only talent seems to be beating the opponent’s face in. He does seem to be pretty good at that after all, not every hockey player gets invited to participate in Mixed Martial Arts after all.

Click here for a fight between Jeremy Yablonski and his potential future teammate Trevor Gillies.

  1. Bryan - Jul 22, 2010 at 3:41 PM

    The fighting in that division is going to be insane next year.

  2. smashmouth - Jul 27, 2010 at 7:45 AM

    I cannot understand why no coach hasn’t played Yabo in front of the net like Holmstrom does for the Wings. In Bingo his playing time was usually situational. He does have the discipline to take someone off the ice with him and usually does not leave his team short-handed. He does bring leadership along with a strong work ethic and he does cover “your” back.

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