The calls for an enforcer for the upcoming season could be answered, tough guy Mike Sgroi has been invited to the Amerks training camp on a tryout contract. Thanks to Lyndsay Kramer (covers the Syracuse Crunch) for reporting the info.
Apparently Ted Nolan has shown interest in Sgroi and called to invite him to camp. In Kramers blog he quoted Sgroi talking about Nolan saying, “He’s done his homework,” Sgroi said. “He’s called everyone I’ve known or played with.”
Sgroi has made the rounds over the past decade playing for 20 different teams, the Amerks will be team number 21. In the American Hockey League Sgroi has played for the Syracuse Crunch, Binghamton Senators, Chicago Wolves, Rockford IceHogs, Albany River Rats, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, and the Norfolk Admirals.
Doing some research on Sgroi the few reasons I can find for him bouncing around so much is due to injuries and some of his “side show” antics with his fights. I’m not really sure what that means, but if he can stay healthy and play smart he sounds like a great player fans would love to see every night.
One thing that separates him from other enforcers is that he’s also known to be able to play the game, that’s the type of player that I think everyone (Nolan, Gage, and Benoit Groulx) are hoping for.
The Amerks and Crunch play each other twice during the preseason, assuming Mirasty is dressed for one of the two games we can probably expect the two players to fight each other. Mirasty has a job, Sgroi will be working for one, chances are Mirasty will help out Sgroi by putting on a show.
He’s coming into camp on a tryout contract so nothing is guaranteed in terms of him being here full time this season. I’ll try and get more comments from Ted Nolan and Jody Gage tomorrow.
During 2008 training camp Ryan James Hand was trying to earn a job with the Amerks when he dropped the gloves with Mike Sgroi who was with the Crunch at the time. Once the fight was over Sgroi had a busted up hand which ended his chances as a #2 enforcer with the Crunch.
Here’s the video of that fight:
In early 2006 Sgroi played for the Albany River Rats and was suspended by the AHL for 10 games after he went after Garret Stroshein of the Providence Bruins in the penalty box.
Here’s a snippet of that incident (full article):
“My take on it is that he was looking to keep his job,” grumbled Sgroi. “I was obviously upset that he was taking liberties with his stick. Then I was upset that the referee (Chris Ciamaga) made a horrendous call, putting me in the box. Then he was goading me in the penalty box. I have never received that lack of respect.”
The Pepsi Arena penalty boxes are not completely partitioned. Sgroi, still smoldering, suddenly went after Stroshein in the visitor’s box, pummeling him with both hands, before being pulled off.
Here’s a video of Sgroi fighting in a ring:
Video recorded when he was with the Binghamton Senators: