Each NHL Team’s Biggest Character: Colorado Avalanche: Cody McLeod
Grit, Grit, Grit. When I hear the name Cody Mcleod all I think is grit. This Colorado Avalanche enforcer will fight with the best of ’em without an ounce of fear in his body. I bet this character eats rocks for breakfast, despite his lack of front teeth. These days there tend two be two sides in respect to the whole “fighting in the NHL” issue: either you’re for it or against it. If fighting were banned in the NHL character’s like McLeod would be rendered useless and obsolete. Personally, I think fighting is an essential part of hockey that helps make it so unique, , to ban fighting would be bastardising the great sport of hockey. But I’m not here to argue about the fighting issue, but to honor Cody McLeod.
McLeod was actually not drafted into the NHL but rather picked up by the Avalanche’s AHL affiliate the Lake Erie Monsters and played with them and their ECHL affiliate for 2 years before getting called up to the NHL in 2007. He made his first start in the NHL in December 19, 2007 and waved goodbye to the minors as he has played every game since that date with the Colorado Avalanche. McLeod is one the more unnoticed energy sources on the Avs, but his grit, hard work, and physicality provide his team with a reason to get fired up during every game. The Avs are a young team who haven’t seen much success in recent years, but there is no doubt in my mind that with players like McLeod they could make an impact once they prove themselves as a Cup Contending team. Guys like McLeod will get you far in the playoffs by doing what he does best, providing a spark for your team when you’re down or worn out. Whether it’s with a big hit or a getting in a scrap, McLeod rallies his team when they need him. It’s players with a mentality like his that carried the Avs/Wings rivalry in the 90s, often considered one of the best rivalries in NHL history. In recent years the rivalry has died due in part to Detroit’s continued dominance and Colorado’s inconsistency to stay a top team. But I believe it is due mostly to lack of players, on both teams, like Cody McLeod. In the 90s players like McCarty, Draper, Pushor, Deadmarsh, Foote, and Claude Lemieux carried the feud through every game, but no more do any of these payers play the game. McLeod carries the gritty characteristics all of the fore mentioned did, and I truly believe he can be one of the key players to re-ignite this awesome rivalry.
McLeod is an awesome bruiser and is definitely characterized by his “don’t take shit from anyone” attitude. Like I mentioned, the guy can flat out fight, but even more so is his attitude on and off the ice to keep working and grind and grit your way through everything. I don’ t think there is ever a time when he will stop hustling, because after all hustling is what got him a spot in the NHL in the first place. I think this interview really highlights “his never say die” mentality.
Two of the last things I’d like to add about McLeod is another video to drive my point home that this guy doesn’t take shit from anyone. As most of you probably know, the Detroit Red Wings have a playoff tradition of throwing an octopus on the ice before and during playoff games. I’m sure other teams can’t stand for how annoying it is, but most just wait for the ice crew to take it off the ice and focus on the game. Cody McLeod took a different approach. When someone threw an octopus on the ice during the second game of the second round of their playoff series, McLeod threw up a metaphorical middle finger to the people of Detroit and picked up that slimy, gross octopus carcass and threw it right back in the stands, letting everyone in the 313 know that he wasn’t going to be intimidated by their silly antics. Lastly, and this is a little out there, one of the thing I personally love about McLeod is his name, he shares (sort of) the same last name as the character in the movie The Highlander, Connor Macleod. And they both show an unyielding passion to reach their goals. THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE!!! So here he is, your Colorado Avalanche character: Cody McLeod