Kids Being Taught How to Fight? Seriously?

In the 361 career games Libor Ustrnul played in the Ontario League, the minors and Europe, he rarely left any doubt about his approach to the game. Playing at 6-foot-5 and 235 pounds, Ustrnul was a stay-at-home defenseman who scored just seven goals and earned 876 penalty minutes. According the website hockeyfights.com, he fought a total of 34 times, with 16 of those fights coming in 1999-2000, his rookie season with the OHL’s Plymouth Whalers.

But he could also play the game. He was good enough to be a second-round pick of the Atlanta Thrashers in 2000 and was a key member of the Czech Republic team that won the gold medal at the World Junior Championship in 2001. The next year, he captained the Czech team at the WJC. Ustrnul played parts of four seasons with the Chicago Wolves of the American League, including one playoff game for the Wolves when the won the Calder Cup in 2001-02. As a 16-year-old, he came to Canada to play for the Thunder Bay Flyers in the USHL where he was a teammate of future NHLer Patrick Sharp.

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