Images by Andy Burnham, used with kind permission, follow Andy on Twitter – @ACB_47
League – 47
Challenge Cup – 9
Continental Cup – 9
Play Offs – 2
Goals: 19 / Assists: 7 / PIMs: 156
I want to like Big Ern I really do but if I’m honest I’m struggling. On his day he could be devastating. I saw the odd shift where he went out, threw the body and the opposition simply couldn’t cope. The problem was it just didn’t happen anywhere near enough. That said he did score possibly the funniest goal I’ve ever seen. You know the one.
Started off slowly but once he started to score points did he deliver. Showed his NHL quality at times with some outstanding plays and goals and was such a feared enforcer that many wouldn’t go near him, some even hid from him all season despite several opportunities to engage. Another bright point from the season.
Slowest of slow starts in terms of point production, but the effort, the chances and the ability was there from day one. As soon as one went in things just seemed to click for Big Ern. Fast became more than just a big scary enforcer and ended up being a legitimate threat in front of goal with 19 goals in all competitions for the Panthers. Rumoured to be on a 2 year deal, and if he sees it through and he hits the ground running next season, we could be in for a career season from the former NHLer.
As far as intimidation goes there is no better. Has hardly fought this season because nobody wants to try their luck! It allowed him to concentrate more on his game and he’s chipped in with some important goals. Plenty of room for improvement, but looking forward to seeing what he can do in a better team.
One of the few successes of the season. Initially brought in as the big-name replacement for Janssen, points scoring and his all-round general influence on games was lacking for the first couple of months leading to derision from certain parts of the fan base. However, Big Ern proved the doubters wrong and his unexpected ability to light the lamp during the second half of the season gave the side some much-needed offense when other more high-profile scorers were shooting blanks. Struck up a great on-ice rapport with Robert Farmer which hopefully continues into 2017-18.
I think we got more than we expected from McGrattan, we certainly got more points than we thought though sadly he seems to have a thing for attracting ‘Abuse of Official’ penalties otherwise his PIMS would have been something of a surprise too! He’s picked his battles and we’ve been treated to a few good tilts but he hasn’t had the most fights on the team and, yet again, we seem to have signed a player who 9 other fanbases were calling a ‘Goon’ who turned out to be anything but. McGrattan has also given us a ‘Water-ski moment’ following his passage of play at the NIC with Fitzgerald and despite it coming to nothing in the grand scheme of things, I’m sure we’ll be talking about it for years!