A free agent signing this summer, Tanner Glass was brought to Pittsburgh for two primary reasons. His hitting ability and his willingness to drop the gloves.
Given that, it stands to reason Glass will have ample opportunity to show off his skill set Saturday when the Penguins open the season with the rival Flyers. In recent years, this rivalry has seen everything from line brawls, confrontations between coaches and multiple biting accusations.
Yesterday, Glass, who led the Jets last season with 246 hits, talked about the rivalry and expressed eagerness to get involved.
What do you know about this rivalry?
"It’s pretty obvious. It’s out there. (Sidney Crosby’s) quote last year, I think it was something like, ‘I don’t like anybody on that team,’ or something like that. Even playing ‘Philly’ with Winnipeg in the past, their fans are a bit gnarly. You get the signs that are a bit offside. I’m just excited to be a part of it. Get in there and mix it up a bit."
Given your role as a fighter and energy player, is it safe to assume you'll probably bump heads with some Flyers a few times Saturday?
"Yeah. For sure. For sure. I love that stuff. In Winnipeg last year, being our first year, we didn’t really have a rivalry with anyone. I’m really excited about this and I want to put my mark on the rivalry."
What do you remember from watching the playoff series between these teams last season?
"The thing that sticks out to me is the (Arron) Asham hit on (Flyers forward Brayden) Schenn. If it culminates in something like that, you know there’s some things underlying that. I didn’t really watch it that closely to be honest. When the season ended last year, I was … (ticked) off enough that we didn’t make (the playoffs)."
Have any of your new teammates told you about that team or individuals on that team?
"I know that team well enough. I played in the (Eastern Conference) last year. So you know guys like (Claude) Giroux and (Daniel) Briere and (Scott) Hartnell. Then you got guys like (Wayne) Simmonds and (Braydon) Coburn. Guys like that. They’re impact players. I’m familiar enough with the players."
You have played with the Panthers, Canucks and Jets in your career. What's the best NHL rivarly you've been a part of?
"Vancouver-Calgary at times was good. But to be honest, we were beating them almost every time. This will be by far the best rivalry I’ve been a part of. We started to have one a bit with Minnesota I guess a little bit last year because our fans were going down there. But nothing like this."
(Photo: Claus Andersen/Getty Images)