Sitting here at the typing factory before heading down to the rink for the Alaska Aces-Colorado Eagles game tonight and scrolling down a list of websites, The Blog did a quick check on the Great Britain-based Elite Ice Hockey League and discovered former Aces defenseman Benn Olson continues to make a mockery of the penalty-minutes race in that circuit.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but let's just crown him king already -- although, you've gotta think, given Olson's 236 penalty minutes in a mere 20 games for the Coventry Blaze, the locals no doubt call him "Big Ben.''
Man, the next most penalty minutes posted in the league come from Ryan Hand of the Hull Stingrays, who apparently isn't even trying to make it a race.
Our man Benn last week checked in with his most PIMs in a game this season -- 35! He got in three fights against the Belfast Giants at something called SkyDome Arena (ThunderDome is more like it)-- the one just three seconds into the game probably would have been even quicker, but The Blog figures the timekeeper was slow that night. Each fight was worth five minutes in penalties and the third fight was worth an additional 20 penalty minutes. In any event, that topped Olson's previous game-high this season of 31.
At 11.8 penalty minutes per game, Olson is on pace to easily surpass the 2011-12 EIHL leader, Chris Frank of the Cardiff Devils, whose 357 minutes in 58 games worked out to a paltry 6.16 minutes per game. The 2010-11 leader was Alex Penner of the Nottingham Panthers (289 minutes in 30 matches, or a respectable 9.63 penalty minutes per game) -- seems apropos to mention Penner since he played last season for the Colorado Eagles.
Penner last season finished third in the ECHL with 239 minutes in 65 games. The ECHL's penalty-minute champ last season was Devin DiDiomete of Wheeling and Chicago, who had 281 minutes in a combined 43 games. By the way, DiDiomete this season ranks third in the EIHL in PIMs with 94 in 18 games for Cardiff, so he's clearly off to a slow start.