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The Wessex Wire

The Wessex Wire

Rempe turns heads as rookie enforcer for the Rangers

Photo courtesy of “David” (CC BY 2.0)
Matt Rempe has made a name for himself as an enforcer his rookie season this year with the Rangers.

Matt Rempe joined his rookie season with the New York Rangers during the Stadium Series against the New York Islanders. Rempe is 6 foot 7 inch, 240 lbs forward, with aggressive play on the ice. His National Hockey League (NHL) debut began in late February. Within his first ten games, he has managed to be in four fights, 54 penalty minutes and two ejections. Rempe is one of the most discussed players in the league. He is gaining a reputation as what fans would call an enforcer. 

Throughout the years, the enforcer title has been slowly phased out. This isn’t to say that players will not drop their gloves or play a physical game, but Rempe has put himself into a different category. 

“His coach needs to get a grip on the number of hits he has,” senior Riley Friedman said. “He can end up being a really good player, but if his style of play stays the same, I think it could be a big issue.” 

Being a Ranger for less than a month, Rempe had been suspended for the four consecutive games due to his brutal hit on Mar. 11th against New Jersey Devils player Jonas Siegenthaler. He was charged with misconduct in the second period of the 3-1 Rangers win against the Devils. Sigenthalar had just taken a shot in the attack zone when Rempe skated over to him and threw his elbow onto Sigenthalar’s head. After further review, the officials gave the Rangers a five-minute penalty. This didn’t put the Rangers at a disadvantage due to their strong team this season. 

After the game, a March 12 ESPN article confirmed that Devils coach Travis Green wanted Rempe to be suspended. Green believed that Rempe had intent to injure the Devil’s defensemen. Although people can argue that the contact was inevitable since Rempe was bracing himself for the boards, the NHL Department of Safety ruled that Rempe raised his arm, resulting in his mischeck.

“He’s going to be a menace in the league,” Toronto Maples Leafs player Ryan Reaves said. “He’s like 6-9 or something. He’s just really lanky, for sure the biggest guy I ever fought.” 

Often, Rempe is compared to Ryan Reaves, an enforcer with over 75 NHL fights. Reaves used to be the enforcer on the Rangers, so when they were playing against each other, they got into a brawl. 

Fan’s concerns are being raised about the extent of his fights. Physical players in sports, especially NHL enforcers, have shorter life spans simply for the player’s safety. This is mainly due to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Statistically, an enforcer does not generate many points and isn’t a consistent part of the team, according to a March 5 article from The Guardian. 

Rempemania has taken over the fanbase as they cheer for their rookie. Despite the concerns, Rangers fans have been all about Rempe. They advocate that fighting is a critical part of the game. Players and fans have seen the increased energy every time Rempe steps on the ice, indicating that this enforcer will do the Rangers justice. 

“I love him, he’s a great player,” senior Luke Romano said. “He will definitely give us some great grit in the playoffs.”  

Photo credit: “2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 3” by David is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Behind the Byline
Sophia Duarte
Sophia Duarte, Apprentice Editor
Sophia Duarte is an Apprentice for the Wessex Wire. In the summer, she spends time with her family in Portugal. She enjoys watching sports, working out, reading, and hanging out with friends. She also loves listening to country music, especially Morgan Wallen.
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