Bonneau Back For More

Bonneau Back For More
By Andrew Hirsh
The Worcester Sharks have made a name for themselves as one of the most physically intimidating teams in the AHL, and with the re-signing of tough guy Jimmy Bonneau, that figures to continue in the 2012-13 season.
Jimmy Bonneau, appropriately nicknamed "Bonesaw" came to Worcester last season following a one-year stint in Rochester. It didn't take long before the 6’3’’, 225-pound forward made an impression with the Sharks, finishing the 2011-12 campaign with 22 fighting majors—good for a franchise record.
A brute force on the ice, Bonneau had not always been given the most advantageous opportunities to use his fighting skills, but that changed for the better in Worcester. Head Coach Roy Sommer gave Bonneau the chance to not only play a gritty game, but also earn abundant ice time in the process.
“I really loved my first season with the Sharks,” Bonneau said. “I really love the team mentality of the players, staff and the direction the team went for.”
A native of Quebec, Bonneau had always wanted to be an enforcer-type player, dating back to when he was a kid in the late-80’s.
“When I was younger my favorite player was Cam Neely,” he said. “I always wanted to be a physical forward. When my skill and skating wasn’t enough to be physical I started fighting. After that I started looking at the heavyweights in the NHL, and all of them I try to base my game on what I’m doing, like Steve MacIntyre did.”
While Bonneau has been an enforcer for the entirety of his professional career, the Sharks gave him an unprecedented chance to display his skill set last season, as his tough nature played into the style of hockey coach Sommer wanted.
“It’s important that you can be a team that’s hard to play against,” Bonneau said. “When you’re at the end of a three and three set and you know it’s going to be a tough game, we need to have that type of energy.”
While guys like Bonneau may not light up the score sheet, his presence on the ice is important so those with strong goal-scoring capabilities have the ability to provide the offense necessary to win.
“With a guy like me, I can make it so my teammates can go ahead with their game and not worry about their other team’s heavyweights,” Bonneau said. “That way our scorers can find their own place and don’t have to worry about the big guys on the other side, ‘cause I’ll take them night in and night out.”
In addition to Bonneau, the Sharks employed several other physical players last season, including Sena Acolaste and Curt Gogol among others. The group became known by fans and foes alike as the “Goon Squad,” exemplifies the brand of hockey the Sharks liked to play.
“Most teams had scouting reports on us and talked about what kind of team we are. The guys started joking that the other teams were saying we were a bunch of goons,” said Bonneau. “Sena or Gogol put that on Twitter, and the fans loved it. They really got it going.”
With Acolaste, Gogol and Bonneau all back in the fold for next season, the “Goon Squad” should have plenty more opportunities to live up to their name, as the Sharks figure to once again be one of the most menacing teams in the AHL in 2012-13.

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