Theres a line for Fort Drum Killers GM Steven Stryska when it comes to trash talking.
On Monday night, he felt Chiefs GM Mike Nellany crossed it during a Week 10 matchup with the Boston Giants.
“He thinks because he won the award for Best Trash Talker last year, he can just say whatever he wants and get away with it,” said GM Stryska who has led his Killers team to second place in the American Conference. “It was almost like, ‘I don’t care what you think. Throw your dignity out of the window. Dont lose your mind.’ He thinks I’m just going to lay down for him? Steven Stryska doesn’t lay down for nobody.”
Things got crispy after Nellany called Stryska a ‘turkey’ and said the Giants are going to kick his ass this week.
Some GMs in the AFHL might be hesitant to respond to such trash talk, but GM Steven Stryska, however, is not some GMs.
“I told him I didn’t waste 15 months of my life in Iraq to be called a turkey,” Stryska said. “While I was over there defending his freedom, he was probably sucking a *@!k under a highway bridge.”
GM Nellany responded by calling Stryska a p*@sy and telling him to get back in the trailer with his mother. Afterwards, he admitted to giving him a little extra earful but he didn’t think it was a big deal.
“It started to get personal, so I shifted the focus onto his team and said if they make the playoffs, they would be lucky to get past the first round because his players suck,” said Nellany. “How does he expect to win with guys like Chris ‘Geriatric’ Osgood and Ilya Koval-choke?”
“His team is sub .500 right now,” Stryska said. “He talks sh*t only after my team beat his team 10-1 in the season opener.”
Other GMs started to get into it, including Jordan Carbone, GM of the Toronto Red Devils.
“Their emotions were running high,” Carbone said. “Trash talking is part of the game. I’ve trash talked with some guys over the years. It’s fun. If somebody trash talks to me, I’m going to trash talk back and try to win.”
Before the AFHL Commissioner intervened, Stryska and Nellany did exchange a longer set of words.
“There was a lot of trash talking tonight,” said Killers forward Mikko Koivu. “They wanted to trask talk. We wanted to trash talk too. It motivated us. When you trash talk us, you’re just fueling our fire.”
Killers goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff admitted to being motivated by the war of words. Last night he stopped 22 of 24 shots to post a win in the matchup against Boston.
“There’s a difference between talking and doing,” said Kiprusoff. “When we talk, we back it up. Right now, Fort Drum is in the playoff picture, and Deer Park is floundering outside of it. When I look at their team, I see a good goalie and a couple of good forwards. Other than that, they’re really not that good.”
Earlier this morning, GM Stryska cut to the chase when he was speaking to ESPN in Boston: “I really wish I could be more like Nellany and spend a lot of time counting how many four- and five-star players I have on other people’s rosters. I don’t have time for that, unfortunately,” he said.
Anthony Furino, the Commissioner of the AFHL, said he has no problem with trash talking in the league, and he actually encourages it.
“I don’t think there’s anything bad about it. I only step in when it gets too personal,” Furino said. “But talk is just talk. It’s entertaining leading up to their next matchup. It adds to the excitement of the league. What really matters is when that puck is dropped, teams are ready to play hockey and put up points to win. I don’t give much credence to talking, but I do think after what happened last night, everyone is looking forward to their next matchup.”
Their next matchup is less than 10 weeks away so mark your calendars. On February 28th (Week 20), Steven Stryska’s Fort Drum Killers will face Mike Nellany’s Deer Park Chiefs in the second to last matchup of the regular season.
“They’re not too far away from each other in the standings,” said GM Mike Phelan of the Boston Giants. “A lot can change in 10 weeks. We’ll see what happens, maybe that matchup will have playoff implications.”