August 24, 2011
One glance at Jon Mirasty's(notes) profile page on HockeyFights.com and you'll wonder if he's actually had more fights than games played in his career. He's been a prolific pugilist in the minor leagues since 2000 whose jackrabbit punching style made him a cult icon — ESPN even built a valentine to goons around him.
Now, the man they call Nasty has turned his fury on Russia. Here's Mirasty in a KHL preseason (!) game for Vityaz (in white), taking on former Columbus Blue Jackets center Alexander Svitov of Salavat Yulaev (via Dmitry):
Did Svitov break some kind of hockey code wherein Mirasty wasn't going to flip his lid for him? Mirasty's not the type to keep the visor on.
"It is a very different world here. It sure will be an experience. The arena we play in is beautiful but there is not much more to the city. The translation from English to Russian is very difficult because no one here speaks English with the exception of the coach and GM who both played several years in the NHL.
"The hockey here has a lot more skating and the ice is an Olympic size surface. We've been skated really hard which is a good thing to improve our speed and skating abilities. We had to do laps with 65lb. vests around our body. The money here is tremendously more than the AHL so that is obviously a good thing."
What Mirasty didn't mention: Vityaz is goon city, having previously provided a home to the likes of Chris Simon, Darcy Verot and Josh Gratton(notes), and sparking last season's wild line brawl in the KHL.
Sounds like he's found his new home away from home. Although perhaps Mirasty could lend a hand in teaching technique, as this semi-line brawl in the same game had more wild swings than the Dow Jones:
Some of those fights had serious Semin Bongos potential.