I made a list of MSU players who went on to the NHL in order to analyze a comment by one fellow poster in the wake of this weekend's gooning.
These are the players I saw in college (sorry, the only green I ever saw Bob Essensa in was those ridiculous 99-00 Phoenix 3rd jerseys)
Justin Abdelkader: Young, big guy called up to help with Red Wings' cup run at end of the season. A future checking liner or perhaps Holmstrom role player once he learns to make better use of his size, since his speed and skills aren't on par with Detroit's loaded front six.
David Booth: Speedy scorer who is coming alive this year on Florida's top line. Big, physical forward does a lot of one-on-one. Not a great team player.
Rod "The Bod" Brind'Amour: A great player, one of the best defensive centers in the NHL during his prime. Big workoutaholic who played smart hockey and was used on big, bruising scoring lines (replacing Lindros in Philly during his many concussings, and the famous BBC line), but the Big Bod was never much of a checker.
Anson Carter: At his height, thought to be a perfect checking wing for a 2nd scoring line. Journeyman whose game was based on size and checking
Steve Guolla: No single part of his game really stood out.
Adam Hall: Disappointing power forward who hasn't reached his tremendous upside -- Nashville fans say it's cause he was afraid of the front of the net.
Shawn Horcoff: Strong positional player, hard-working, good skater, decently sized, but not enough vision to become elite and shies away from contact.
Duncan Keith Good skater for a defenseman with Top Four potential. Great offensive instincts. Playes a finesse game and gets pushed around.
John-Michael Liles: Young, small offensive defenseman for Colorado who doesn't shy away from the rough stuff. Only limited by his size, and his speed isn't top-notch either. Basically Jason Woolley Part II.
Kip Miller Hobey Baker winner now in AHL. Solid game, hard-worker, but played much smaller than his frame.
Ryan Miller Unflappable goalie and rising star for Buffalo. Dominates some games. Great work ethic.
Rem Murray Big (for his time) forward who was a checking liner pulled into scoring line duties on bad teams because he was more defensively responsible.
Jim Slater Young gunner who plays with a lot of grit. Average size but plays bigger (sometimes out of control). Could bloom late, and speed makes him viable on a scoring line.
Bryan Smolinkski Great faceoff guy, was at one point a big playmaker. Versatile but goes on long droughts and never made good use of his size.
Mike Weaver Physical defenseman, mostly a backup because he isn't very positionally sound.
Peter White Just remember he got in a fight with teammates. Don't know where he is now. Another big guy, though not really tall, who didn't use his size (sensing a trend here).
Jason Woolley Good sized generally offensive defenseman who at his best was Buffalo's powerplay quarterback. Had good speed and size when he was younger, but played a finesse, passing game.
Mike York Superfast small playmaker who plays bigger than he is, good two-way player, but gets worn down and goes on long scoring droughts at the end of seasons.
What did I see?
1. How many ways can hockey scouts call guys soft? This is by no means true for all of them, but it seems the MSU guys in the NHL are a Who's Who of relatively big guys with a strong work ethic who are afraid to use their bodies. The typical State forward is Adam Hall, a high-drafted power forward who falls short of his expectations, but works his ass off in the weight room and has great natural ability. This seems to be the opposite of the players from Red Berenson's squads who are now lighting up the NHL: relatively small, mediocre speed guys who can pass the puck like nobody's business.
2. MSU hasn't produced an NHL enforcer since Mike Cummins (and he was never a top goon). This doesn't say State isn't about enforcers; their goons just didn't go to the NHL. However, I think it does show that State's program looks for size and speed first. Now, if you're going to pick a style of play for those bodies, you wouldn't be the Red Wings. You'd want to be the late-'90s Flyers. They, too, got a rep for being bruisers. But if we're going to make that comparison, I think both teams are more "bangers," i.e. they play a game that emphasizes crashing the boards and crashing the net -- a power forward's game. This is a totally legitimate hockey strategy that has been tried and true in North America since the first "Oh, shit, this stuff's slippery, eh?" I would posit that these two classless turds represent an anomaly.
Perhaps (thankfully Kampfer is okay so we can joke about this) it was nothing more than Little Brother rage. I mean, it must totally suck to get beaten again and again by the guy for whom your entire sense of self-worth is tied to beating.
What it wasn't, at least in my opinion, was a program-wide commitment to goonism a la Bad Boys on Ice.