Q&A With Former KHL Enforcer Jon Mirasty

mirasty-yablonski-590x445Jon “Nasty” Mirasty is one player you’d rather have on your team then to be playing against him. In his 10 year professional career which has seen him play all over the globe, he has racked up a total of 2571 penalty minutes.

Case in point: He’s not one to be messed with.

Jon Mirasty is a native of Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan and got his start in the WHL. He turned pro in 2003 with the Bakersfield Condors of the ECHL and the legend was born. I was intrigued by his style and his brief foray into the MMA world.

March Hockey: You’ve played in numerous leagues but the one I’m most intrigued by is the KHL. How does the game over in Russia compare to that of North America?? Different atmosphere??

Jon Mirasty: Russia was a great experience. The game is a lot different. You play on a bigger ice surface which opens things up. On the physical aspect, guys there shy away from the rough stuff. Instead of booing, fans whistle. You don’t know if they are cheering for you or against you. It was very hard for me because I love to fight, and there I’d get into only 4 or 5 fights a season. All in all, it was a great time!

MH: I’ll ask right off the bat too, who’s the toughest guy you’ve ever fought?

JM: The toughest guy I ever fought is a pretty hard question to ask. I’ve fought so many guys that were very tough in different ways. Memorable guys that stand out to me would be guys like Steve MacIntyre, Derek Boogard, Jeremy Yablonski. I have to admit, Steve Bosse hit pretty hard too! But like I said, all the guys I fought were pretty tough and I respect them for doing one of the harder jobs in the game.

MH: You’ve spent some time in the LNAH. How does that league compare to other ones you’ve played in? Do you think it’s changed since you’ve left?

42JM: I had a great time playing in the LNAH. Obviously the skill level wasn’t on par with the KHL or AHL, but I feel that a lot of people under estimate the league. From what I remember, there were some very good players, along with some very tough men. I love old school hockey but sometimes the fights/brawls got a little carried away. It was a very exciting league where fans got a little bit of everything. I haven’t played there in over 6 years so things may have changed.

MH: Growing up as a kid, who was your biggest influence on your game and why?

JM: A lot of people helped me get to where I got, but the biggest influence would have been my dad, Gary.

MH: Any chance will see you in an MMA ring again?? What was that experience like??

JM: MMA was awesome. I have a lot of respect for those athletes. It is completely different than fighting on skates. I did not prepare properly and was not ready to compete. It takes a lot of devotion and time to train. With my new business adventures, I doubt I’ll have the time to ever attempt to compete again. I will train though.

Jon-Mirasty

MH: If you could play (or fight haha) against anyone, past or present, who would it be and why??

JM: I’ve had great battles against many guys and would look forward to doing it again against any one of them. Let my son put a few years on, and maybe I’ll try him.

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LNAH 2013 Draft: Sorel-Tracy HC Carvena

HC_Carvena_de_Sorel-Tracy_2011The team who hosted the draft is up next on our look at the team’s faired.

HC Carvena wasted no time and drafted a player who is well known in LNAH and hockey circles, Jon Mirasty. “Nasty” Mirasty has been with Sorel-Tracy years ago when it was know as the Sorel-Tracy Mission. He then made it to the show with the Columbus Blue Jackets and spent sometime in the AHL with the Peoria Rivermen and Syracuse Crunch before making his way over to the KHL.

Yes. The KHL.

Mirasty was signed by Vityaz Chekhov and played a total of 30 games. He was suspended for 15 of them for things like this:

And this:

Yes, that’s minor for North American standards but I guess they don’t take fighting in the KHL too lightly.

Anyway, HC Carvena did draft a couple other guys, like Danny Masse and Steve Label but…..Mirasty is the only one you should be worried about. I am.

LNAH: Valleyfield Braves And Their Expansion Draft

The newest expansion team to come into the LNAH is the Valleyfield Braves who is sure to start a rivalry with their “down the 401” brothers in the Cornwall River Kings.

valleyfieldAt the LNAH expansion draft, the Braves aquired a total of 28 players from the 7 remaining teams. Here is who became property of Valleyfield and where they were taken from:

1. Cornwall River Kings: Karl Fournier, Shawn Collymore, Steve McJannett and Bryan Luker

2. Marquis de Jonquiere: David Masse, Pierre-Luc Emond, Maxime Daigneault, Eric Laplante

3. Riviere du Loup 3L: Jeremie Gouchie, Philippe Lauze, Pier-Olivier Pelletier, Drew Paris

4. Sorel Tracy HC Carvena: Alex Alepin, Bryan Main, Guillaume Monast, Mike Varhaug

5. St Georges Cool FM: Philippe Seguin, Cory Pecker, Vincent Grondin, Remi Royer

6. Thetford Mines Isothormic: Jean Charles Charette, Pierre Luc Lessard, Francis Lemieux, Eric Lecompte

7: Trois Rivieres Caron et Guay: Charles Fontaine, Michael Pregent, Anthony Mezzagno, David Rose

The Braves should be able to ice a fairly decent team from this collective amount of players. It’ll be interesting to see what happens on the ice in Cornwall this season.

LNAH 2013 Draft: Thetford Mines Isothermic

isothermicIsothermic de Thetford Mines is next up as we take a look at the LNAH Draft.

The first player to become property of Thetford Mines is Kevin Veilleux. Wanted by almost every team in the league, Veilleux as draft 51st overall in the 2nd round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft by non other then the Pittsburgh Penguins. Veillieux played with Pittsburgh’s affiliate in Wilkes-Barre Scanton and also spent some time in the East Coast Hockey League with the Wheeling Nailers. (Yes, that’s a real team.) A 6 foot right winger, Veillieux is a great pick up for the Isothermic.

A great pickup came in the 6th round when Thetford selected goaltender Gabriel Girard. Girard has played the last 5 season in the Q with Shawinigan, and even has a Memorial Cup title under his belt.

(Photo: texasstarshockey.com)
(Photo: texasstarshockey.com)

Hubert Labrie also became property of Thetford Mines in the 7th round. This guy is a huge defensive pickup. He’s spent a lot of time in the Dallas Stars system and I’ve kept track of his record while writing for the Texas Stars last year. (Shameless plug: head to http://www.blackoutdallas.com) He finished out the season with the Idaho Steelheads and I’m thrilled at the chance to be getting to see him.

From my standpoint, Thetford Mines has gotten a lot of experienced players in their draft. Their scouts did something right.

LNAH 2013 Draft: Marquis De Jonquiere

Up next as we take a look at the 2013 LNAH draft is the reigning league champs, Les Marquis De Jonquiere. (Say that 10 times fast.)

(Photo: lnah.com)
(Photo: lnah.com)

With the last pick in the first round, Jonquiere picked up a goaltender in Travis Fullerton. (What’s with all the goalies being drafted?!) Fullerton spent the past 5 years with the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds but also spent time in the “Q” with the Lewiston MAINEiancs and the Saint John Sea Dogs.  In the 2010-2011 season, he was in the crease for 20 games and scored up 5 shutouts.

With the second pick, Jonquiere selected a player that needs no introduction to the fans in Cornwall. Ahmed Mahfouz is an agitating right winger who spent the past 3 seasons in the Federal Hockey League; 2 of them with the Akwesasne Warriors. With the Dayton Demonz last season, he somehow racked up an astonishing 111 points in 46 games!!! (Where was that in Akwesasne. Huh.)

Another player of note that is now Marquis property is Alex Penner. A towering 6’4 enforcer, Penner has spent his playing career among various leagues including the English Elite league, AHL and CHL, wining a championship last year for Mike Modano’s Allen Americans. And if you don’t believe me well….

Looks like the Marquis is trying for back to back championships. It’ll be interesting to see how this season plays out.

2013 LNAH Draft: Riviere Du Loup 3L

I thought I might as well take a look at how some of the other teams faired in last week’s LNAH draft.

(Photo: lnah.com)
(Photo: lnah.com)

The 3L of Riviere Du Loup, (for all you english folk, that’s Wolf River 3L), played smart and drafted a wonderful pick in the first round. Simon Danis-Pepin is a native of Montreal and was drafted 61st overall in the 2nd of the 2006 NHL Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks. He was signed to a 3 year entry level deal but has spent most of his playing career in the AHL and ECHL playing for such teams as the Rockford IceHogs, Toledo Walleye and Orlando Solar Bears.

Simon Danis-Pepin (Photo: the_mel, flickr.)
Simon Danis-Pepin (Photo: the_mel, flickr.)

Last season was spent with the San Franciso Bulls of the ECHL afer being exchanged through a trade with Orlando. Standing a 6’7, Danis-Pepin is a force to be reckoned with on defence. I’m sure 3L will use his size to their advantage.

Another notable pick came in the 3rd round with Jean Sebastien Berube. Drafted by the New Jersey Devils in 2008, he has spent the past 3 years playing for New Jersey’s primary affiliate, the Albany Devils. Making his professional debut against the Binghamton Senators, he finished the 2011-2013 season tied for first on team with a plus 6 rating.

8460921133_9b7e43caf1_zOther players of note that are now 3L’s property are goaltender Andrew Fleming who just finished a season with McGill University and Nicholas Tremblay who was a apart of the AHL’s Providence Bruins. All in all, not a bad draft for 3L.

Here’s the full 10

1. Simon Danis-Pepin2. TRADED
3. Jean Sebastien Berube
4. Nicholas Tremblay, Alex Belzile
5. Coderre Gagnon, Mathieu Olivier Daoust
6. Andrew Flemming
7. Alex Emond
8. Tommy Castonguay
9. Christian Ouellet
10. TRADED

All The Kings Men: River Kings 2013 LNAH Draft

Oh dear.  What a circus act it has been this past year for the Cornwall River Kings. First losing critical pieces in management, then coaching staff, it’s actually quite shocking that the team is still here in the first place. Of course there’s plenty of rumors swirling around but I’m not about to gossip. Instead let’s criticize one of the worst drafts I’ve ever seen!

Loic Lacasse. Cornwall River Kings. (PHOTO: Allison Papineau.)
Loic Lacasse. Cornwall River Kings. (PHOTO: Allison Papineau.)

First things first. Cornwall has a remarkable goaltender in Loic Lacasse. In case you’re not keeping track, Lacasse went 181st in the 6th round in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft to the Montreal Canadiens. And you want to know a fun fact about that statistic? He got drafted HIGHER then PEKKA RINNE. Rinne went in 258th in the 8TH ROUND.

And in case you’ve been living under a rock, Pekka Rinne plays for the Nashville Predators and was nominated for the Vezina 2 years in a row (2011, 2012). I don’t know about you but being drafted higher then a two time Vezina trophy nominee AND winning the league’s award for best goaltender says something in my books. But what do I know.

So we come to the 2013 LNAH draft with our heads held high. After all of this management fiasco, we are determined that we will be able to snag a few brilliant pieces into the fold.  And in the first round we draft………a goalie.

Sigh. Brilliant. 2 of Cornwall’s 10 picks turned out to be goaltenders. I wasn’t aware that our goaltending situation was in trouble.

Jonathan Zion. Chicago Express. (PHOTO: Farm8. Flickr.)
Jonathan Zion. Chicago Express. (PHOTO: Farm8. Flickr.)

Anyway, with the second pick Cornwall selected Jonathan Zion. A huge defensive  addition that will hopefully fill the hole left from Sasha Pokulok who is heading off to Russia next season.

Here’s the final draft order:

1) Josh Tordjman ……..Goalie
2) Jonathan Zion ……..Defence
3) TRADED
4) TRADED
5) Christian Boucher……Goalie
6) Carl Tatonetti …….Forward
7) Danick Paquette …….Forward
8) Brett Angel …….Defence
9) Myke Byrd …….Defence
10) Chris Ayotte …….Forward

 

Hey, it can’t get any worse. Right?