Some hockey fighters hate their jobs. Brent Severyn, the Avalanche's enforcer in the 1996-97 season, equated punching opponents to punching a timecard. Chris Simon, the fighter on the Avs' Stanley Cup-winning team in the 1995-96 season, went about his pugilistic duties with a similar grudge.

Patrick Bordeleau doesn't seem to suffer from such ambivalence about his job.

"To be honest, I love to fight," said Bordeleau, the Avs' heavyweight, fourth-line enforcer so far this season. "My dad was a brawler back in the day. I think it's in my blood. My dad's 6-(foot)-4, 280 (pounds)."

Bordeleau is an NHL rookie — at 26 years old. The Avalanche is his 11th professional team, but first in the NHL. From outposts such as Wheeling, W.Va., and Augusta, Ga., from Albany, N.Y. to Cleveland, Bordeleau punched plenty of low-rent timecards en route to the NHL.

When Avalanche coach Joe Sacco decreed that his team would be harder to play against this season — in part meaning the Avs wouldn't hesitate to drop the gloves when pushed around — it created a job opportunity for the 6-6, 220-pound Bordeleau. Making the team out of training camp became easier when forward Ryan O'Reilly stayed out as a contract holdout and veteran Chuck Kobasew was out with the flu. After about six years of struggles in the minors, Bordeleau's NHL promotion gave him an "Am I dreaming?" moment. But the dream was real.

Read more: Avalanche's Patrick Bordeleau glad to pack a punch as journeyman - The Denver Post

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