April 13, 2016

Chris Tamer

Chris Tamer was a solid, defensive defenseman for many seasons in the National Hockey League.

The native of Dearborn, Michigan played four seasons at the University of Michigan while earning a bachelor of arts in communications. But his specialty was the school of hard knocks, and he was the teacher. He established himself as hard hitter and tough customer.

The high scoring Pittsburgh Penguins drafted him 68th overall in 1990 and welcomed him to the team in 1995. It was not an easy roster to crack as the Penguins had a lot of NHL capable defenders at the time.

But Tamer was able to become a solid depth defenseman because of he played a smart positional game and stayed within his limitations. His skating skills were somewhat limited by NHL standards, leaving him prone in open ice situations. But through excellent defensive reads and conservative play the coach and his teammates always knew what to expect from Tamer.

With just 21 goals and 85 points in 644 career games, Tamer was never much of an offensive player. What he excelled at was doing all the little things well, like chipping the puck out of the zone and angling attackers to the outside. He became a regular penalty killer and a brave shot blocker Those types of things do not usually show up on the score sheet, but they do register in the win column.

Tamer played with the Penguins until November 1998 when he was included in a blockbuster trade to the New York Rangers. The Penguins moved him, Petr Nedved and Sean Pronger for Alexei Kovalev and Harry York.

The Rangers would lose Tamer to the Atlanta Thrashers in the 1999 NHL expansions draft. Expansion team rosters are known to be revolving doors, but Tamer was a constant presence for the next five years. Through his poise and consistency he was a top four defenseman, often mentoring the younger blueliners.

Tamer retired shortly after the league returned to action from the 2005 lockout. After hanging up his skates Tamer returned to Detroit and opened his own crossfit training gym. Tamer was always passionate about his off ice training during his career, making for a natural transition.

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