Delivering the intangibles

4 July 2019

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Not every player’s contribution can be measured in raw numbers. Of course, for most forwards, the key stats are about goals and assists. Other players might point to impressive plus/minus ratings. But sometimes, it’s all about the intangibles.

And that’s where Garet Hunt comes in. The 31-year-old arrives with a wealth of experience of life in the ECHL. He played 772 games in that league and became something of a cult figure at Stockton Thunder. This thunderbolt was nominated as the team’s fan favorite and unsung hero in the 2010/11 season and was captain for three seasons. He also had a season as player/coach, highlighting the regard in which he was held throughout the organization. On the flip side, he was twice the most penalized player in the league: in a nutshell, home fans love him while opposing teams love to hate him.

Never the most prolific of scorers – although at his peak he produced a creditable return of just over 0.5 ppg – Hunt’s contribution in the ECHL stemmed from his role as an irritant. After all, a big part of hockey is stopping the opposition from playing and guys like Garet have all the tools to do that. Niggly, in-yer-face, sometimes pushing the boundaries of what’s permitted, these so-called ‘pests’ can play a key role in distracting opponents and creating space for the rest of the team to do its thing. One criticism of Red Star – and of Chinese hockey in general – has been that the talent levels have not always been matched by game management know-how, the dark arts that help teams earn the right to play their game and benefit from their skilled guys. Hunt can offer some of that, helping some of our younger recruits to show their abilities in the big league.

And it’s not just a boost for Kunlun. Hunt also has Chinese roots and could, potentially, be available to perform as similar role in the national program. And with a wealth of experience on and off the ice, Garet can bring something distinct and valuable to our club. Welcome to the Dragons’ Lair, Garet Hunt!

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