By Glenn Hibdon, Greater Tulsa Reporter (Photo credit: Tulsa Oilers)
Wrong or right, he’s here to fight, and if you wonder who he is, his name might as well be Daniel E. That’s an E for enforcer.
Tulsa Oilers forward Daniel Amesbury holds no punches when acknowledging he’s in town to pound down and put a frown on the Central Hockey League’s bad boys. At six feet and 210 pounds, he is a heavyweight fighter who won his first six bouts after joining the Central Hockey League team in late December.
“When I started hockey, I was intrigued by one aspect of the sport,’’ says the 22-year-old forward from Maple Ridge, B.C. “I grew up in a tight group of friends, and we always had each other’s backs. I always liked protecting my close friends, and it transferred over to the ice. I want to use fighting to make the next level.’’
Amesbury says he “likes to stick a straight right or left hook,’’ and boxing is a passion for him. His parents had other ideas and thought hockey might tame his temper a bit.
“I stuck with hockey and still ended up fighting,’’ says Amesbury, who led the Southern Professional Hockey League with 34 fighting majors last season. “Now my parents support me 110 percent. They’ve learned to accept it, and I call my mom after every fight to let her know I’m OK.’’
Oilers coach Bruce Ramsay brought Amesbury to Tulsa with one goal in mind and it wasn’t to cheer up and play nice with opponents. Ramsay expects the tough guy to deal out punishment to anyone who dares take liberties with his players.
“Daniel Amesbury is the kind of player we’ve been looking for and is tough to find,’’ Ramsay says. “He knows what he wants to do and he doesn’t expect to play a regular shift; he expects to fight. He makes our team better by giving us more confidence when we play against the tougher teams like Allen and Wichita. He’s there to protect our skilled players.’’