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Season (P)Review: Raitis Ivanans

Like most Kings fans, I was pretty bummed when George Parros lost his job to Raitis Ivanans last year. I had grown to love our Princeton pugilist over the previous season in spite of his ineptitude and lack of balance and I doubted some Latvian could possibly replace him. I soon forgot all about Parros, though, when I saw this picture:

Dear God, is that his bicep???

I grew to appreciate Ivanans’ "skills" more and more as the season went on, and I am ultimately glad Parros is gone. There are 3 main reasons I think Ivanans is better than Parros:

1) Ivanans is a better fighter. Parros falls too much. I think that’s something everyone can agree on. Every Parros fight you’ll see will go as follows: Parros throws the other guy around, misses a punch and then falls down. Ivanans, on the other hand, is incredibly strong on his skates. (I think it’s because he’s 6’3" and weighs like 600 pounds.) The two fought once last season; it would have been a good fight, but Parros kept falling down. He’s like a grizzly bear trying to play hockey out there.

2) Ivanans is better at the sport of hockey. Of course, that’s like saying that he’s better looking than a platypus; well, yeah, everyone is. Parros trying to play hockey is one of the more ridiculous things I’ve ever seen. Last year, Parros had 1 goal in 32 games, and I’m pretty sure he was trying to punch someone at the time. Shouldn’t you accidentally get an assist in 32 games? I mean, he got outscored by J.S. Giguere! Ivanans is not a good hockey player, but he isn’t that slow and he can do some damage in front of the net. He had 8 points in 64 games; not good, but better than Parros.

You look ridiculous.

3) Ivanans is scarier. Parros is awesome, but I don’t think anyone is afraid of him. (Well, I guess Chaetophobics would be.) He’s an Ivy League grad with a ridiculous moustache; he’s not scary, he’s a foil from Revenge of the Nerds. Raitis Ivanans is from Latvia, and if my American education has taught me anything, it’s that people from Latvia are bloodthirsty monsters. The guy probably ate shoes growing up, you think he’s above gouging an eye? Look into his eyes when he’s out on the ice. I did once and I found out how I was going to die. (I now avoid the proctologist at all costs. I’m not really comfortable talking about it, actually.)

Ivanans, spotting a particularly tasty shoe.

Ivanans will probably play a little less than he did last year, but I still see him getting about 40 games and a bushel of penalty minutes. He and Scott Thornton are our only real fighting threats out there now and they’re going to have to protect the Kings’ best players from the barbarian horde over there in Anaheim. Parros is cool, but he’s ultimately just a gimmick; I’m happy with our enforcer.