Ice Guardians: The Role of the Hockey Enforcer

Adam Scorgie’s passion for the upcoming movie Ice Guardians hasn’t waned in almost a decade.

And after a long wait, the movie is set for a Spring 2016 release.

From Director Brett Harvey on the movie website:

Exploring one of the most controversial and provocative positions in the history of sport, ‘Ice Guardians’ journeys into the lives of those who perform what is undoubtedly the toughest job within the National Hockey League today, the enforcer.  Very few understand this position and even fewer appreciate what is involved in becoming one.  It’s a punishing profession unlike any other, holding little mercy for its candidates on or off the ice.

I for one am excited to see this movie.  It comes at a time when there is talk about the removal of fighting and a concussion lawsuit.

But there is still a clear role for enforcers in today’s game.




To watch the movie pitch video you will need the password igvimeo12345

Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy also interviewed Adam Scorgie:

Eight years into his passion project, Adam Scorgie’s enthusiasm hasn’t waned.

Ask him about “Ice Guardians”, his documentary about hockey enforcers, and words fly from his mouth at a hyper and energetic pace. The Edmonton-based documentary filmmaker isn’t a hockey fan because of hockey.

He’s a hockey fan because of the fights. And he feels that the guys who come to fisticuffs in games get an unfair rap.

Why is it unfair? Because in Scorgie’s eyes, nobody has done a deep, introspective look at the position … yet. For his film he’s talked to behavior specialists, referees, linesmen, hockey historians, superstars and of course, the enforcers themselves.

Though he’s a supporter of the enforcer role, this isn’t a piece glorifying it. He’s a filmmaker before he’s a fan and he wants to show a true and honest representation of the position.

“That’s the part all the guys have been attracted to us with this project is, ‘Finally you’re not trying to pick or choose a side and not trying to get rules changed. You’re just trying to tell our story,’” said Scorgie the film’s co-creator/producer.

Scorgie is currently finishing up the film, and is hoping to take a festival run with it during the spring of 2016. Here is the link.

There are a few notes that make his film interesting, beyond his comprehensive view.

For one, he talked to superstar Hall of Fame-type players like Jarome Iginla and Brett Hull about the position.

Also, he has tape of enforcer Derek Boogaard, who died in 2011 from a drug overdose. Boogaard’s brain has since been found to have the degenerative brain disease CTE, which is linked to concussions.

“I had become good friends with Boogie before he passed,” Scorgie said. “We have the last really well-read interview with Boogie before he died.”

We talked with Scorgie about his project, what he’s trying to accomplish and how it all came together.

Q: I saw you have some tape of Derek Boogaard in the film …

SCORGIE: I had become good friends with Boogie before he passed. We have the last really well-read, in-depth interview with Boogie before he died. I want to say it’s about six months after the demo was done. It was shortly after that when he passed. I was supposed to meet him in California like a month before he passed. We were supposed to go down there and hang out with him and his brother.

We didn’t hang out a lot in person, but we’d text each other back and forth two or three times per-week.

Have you ever thought of the importance of this?

I mean, it’s a weird thing because I really thought Boogaard and I, with the relationship we seemed to be building that we would have been friends with a long time.

I am with most of these guys now. With Eric Godard, I ‘ve been to his wedding, he’s been to my wedding, we talk about each other’s kids. We’re friends now from the process of trying to put this together.

When he passed, his parents were asking for footage. I’m not one of those producers that’s like ‘I own the footage.’ They want to use it for something and I gave it to them.

It’s a tragedy what happened to Boogaard. It’s sad. But the addiction thing is something that isn’t directly connected to enforcing because it happens in all walks of life. We’ve done two drug films. We’ve interviewed some of the best addiction specialists in the world and there’s people who have never been in a fight in their lives or played a pro sport that suffer from drug addiction. It actually does a huge disservice to mental illness, depression and CTE by putting it all towards fighting.


One thought on “Ice Guardians: The Role of the Hockey Enforcer

  • January 12, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    Great post very informative. After being heoamswt skeptical about the ability of mouthguards to protect against concussions, now I’m a lot closer to being convinced. I also wonder if the incidence of fights in the NHL might contribute to the effects of concussions from on-ice impacts. Concussions tend to be cumulative are players inadvertently setting themselves up, by throwing their gloves off and pounding away at each others’ faces/jaws/heads till one or both are bloodied and down on the ice? Just something to think about.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *