August 19, 2013

Jody Shelley: Tough Guy, Lousy Mechanic

Jody Shelley may have had the most girly name in hockey history (though I still like Peggy O'Neill best, personally), but which could not have been easy for Shelley. I mean, even at the youth level there is a lot of testosterone in hockey, and I'm sure he received some regular taunting about it.

But I'm also sure that at some point fairly early on opposing players learned very quickly to keep their mouths shut.

That's because Jody Shelley became a very respected and legitimate NHL heavyweight. Standing at an intimidating 6'3" and 230lbs, Shelley totalled 196 NHL fighting majors (plus another estimated 158 in the junior and minor leagues) totalling 1538 penalty minutes!

Make no mistake, that was Shelley's job. It kept him the NHL for 627 games with Columbus, San Jose, New York Rangers and Philadelphia. He is best remembered as a popular Blue Jackets tough guy who led the team in penalty minutes four times and set the franchise record for PIMs in a season with 249. He also managed to find a little bit of time to play some actual hockey, too, scoring 18 goals and 54 points in his career.

Shelley also had a memorable exchange with New York Rangers forward Brandon Dubinsky in HBO's hit 24/7 feature on the Flyers vs the Rangers. Dubinsky offered this scouting report:

"First of all, if I was him, I'd keep my mouth shut if I don't play, especially since I never see him on the ice. He's usually just yapping from the bench, and I guess now he's yapping from behind the video camera. So that's about all I have to say."

Shelley replied by calling Dubinsky "a weasel."

Fans love that stuff. And they loved Shelley, too. He may have been a tough guy but his junior team, the Halifax Mooseheads, retired his sweater because he was so well liked. Every where he went he was a hit, especially in Columbus.

Shelley announced his retirement in the summer of 2013. He rejoined the Blue Jackets as a broadcaster and team ambassador. Shelley is on record saying he is excited about his new job. Hopefully it goes a lot better than his short stint as an auto mechanic:

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