By Maggie Thach
The Salt Lake Tribune
WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – After the game in which Travis Rycroft got into a fight with Las Vegas’ Shawn Limpright two seconds after the puck dropped, Rycroft did what he usually does. He cleaned up, got dressed, got into his car and called his older brother, Mark.
That conversation consisted of more than the usual post-game talk. Mark, who plays for the Colorado Avalanche, had to comment on Rycroft’s physical start. He knows his little brother is not usually a fighter.
“He called me right after that,” Mark said. “I know that when he was named captain, he had a lot of pride and he wants to be respected. He was going to get in a fight and he felt tremendously honored that he may have earned that respect.”
The scrum early in the game sparked the Grizzlies to a 4-3 win. Rycroft, who is more of a peacemaker than a fighter, stepped out of his comfort zone to help the team.
“He’s just the ultimate leader,” said teammate Brad Herauf. “He says what has to be said and does whatever is best for the team.”
Since he was named captain Dec. 29, the Grizzlies have gone 10-6-1. Rycroft hopes to continue to lead Utah in the right direction, as the Grizzlies play 19 of their last 27 games at the E Center. Utah resumes its 10-game home stand tonight against Long Beach.
“We’ve definitely turned this ship around,” Rycroft said. “We could have folded up our tents, but we’ve showed character.”