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Will History Repeat Itself For Corey Tropp?

07/06/10
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Corey Tropp has a way of statistically making history repeat itself. But will the young winger make the same violent mistake in the AHL that he did during his sophomore season at Michigan State University?

Corey Tropp, the Sabres third-round pick (89th overall) in 2007, knows how to move up in the hockey world by stringing together league-advancing seasons together. In his final season with the Sioux City Stampede of the USHL in 2006/2007, Tropp scored 26g and 36a in 54 regular season games and then 4g and 9a in 8 playoff games before moving up to play wing for the Michigan State University Spartans. Then, in his final season with MSU in 2009/2010, he scored 20g and 22a in 37 games during his junior year. Today, Tropp signed his entry-level contract with the Sabres. It’s just another rung in the ladder to success for the talented player, but he almost de-railed his career with a dangerous and impulsive decision in January of 2009.

During a game between the rival Spartans and Michigan University Wolverines, Michigan forward Steve Kampfer delivered a thundering open-ice hit to Tropp. It was a clean hit, but Tropp and teammate Andrew Conboy took exception with the body-check. During a calamitous incident, Tropp took a two-handed swing at Kampfer’s exposed neck and throat with his stick that landed the Wolverine forward in the hospital for precautionary measures. The attack is highly-reminiscent of former New York Islander Chris Simon’s swing across the face of former New York Ranger Ryan Hollweg, who was lucky to not receive any major injuries. Steve Kampfer was lucky to not receive any major injuries as well.

But what if he wasn’t so lucky? What if the swing had fractured a vertebrae or crushed his trachea? Instead of talking about where the right-handed shot will fit into the AHL Portland Pirates’ depth chart, we could be talking about the tragedy of a college kid who forever injured – or worse, killed – an opponent in a fit of rage. But it didn’t go that route, and today Corey Tropp is a young professional hockey player with a bright future ahead of him. Hopefully he’s learned from what he did and has moved on from it. After all, now he can look forward to the shining lights and cheering crowds of the National Hockey League instead of looking back at a bitter moment during his college career that ruined everything.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jay permalink
    07/06/10 5:18 PM

    Well, here’s my take on the whole thing.

    He was the victim of intensity and anger. The Michigan player in question took a run at him; Conboy stepped in, and Tropp over-reacted. Tropp isn’t a goon like Simon, he’s a semi-skilled player who just let his emotions get the best of him.

    I still dont think he’s ready for NHL or even AHL hockey, but I sincerely doubt that he’ll ever have another blow like he did in that game.

    It’s like watching Boston U vs Minnesota U back in the 70′s; those were games full of cheap shots, and intent to injure players; including several players who went on to play on the 1980 Miracle on Ice team. Those guys weren’t cheap shot artists, but they were throwing them those nights. And it’s just something that happens in those overly intense rivalries.

    • 07/06/10 6:16 PM

      Letting his emotions get the best of him is the exact angle I wrote this from. It’s one of those instances where you realize, “Holy s*** I coulda really hurt him.” For me, seeing him play his rookie season of AHL hockey without an incident such as that will cement my belief he’s learned from his mistake.

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