The Michigan Daily - Thursday, January 17, 1991 - Page 9
_ The En-four-cers Dekers induct four
into Hall of Fame
by Dan Zoch
Daily Hockey Writer
WDlverines Aaron Ward, Ted Kramer, Cam Stewart, and Chris Tamer (left to right) have established themselves as the "hit men" of Michigan hockey.
Though the four personify physical play during a game, off the ice it's their personalities that really hit you.
Tamer, Stewart, Ward and Kramer fill a tough role
"Shattering every existing
Wolverine record, Michigan's flashy
left winger, Gib James, humiliated
... St. Thomas in the Coliseum last
night when he banged home 10
goals and was credited with one
- Michigan Daily sportswriter
Fred Buesser, February 19, 1936.
Gib James, whose scoring record
still stands fifty-five years later, will
be one of four inductees into the
Dekers Hall of Fame this weekend.
The Dekers, the
booster club for B utts
has been an
active part of
1938. In 1936, Moretto
referred to as "an entire hockey team
unto himself," by Lowrey and the
In 1937, he helped the
Wolverines to a share in the Big Ten
Championship. That same year, he
was a selection to the Midwest
College All-Star Team.
Dave Butts got his chance to play
in the net, under Michigan coach Al
Renfrew in the 1962-63 season,
when the Wolverines were short on
players. He played goal for two
seasons and switched to forward his
In the 1961-62 season, Butts led
the W.C.H.A. in average goals
against (2.70). In 21 career games,
his goals against average was 3.09.
Since playing for Michigan, Butts
moved on to coaching high school
and the minor leagues. In 1965,
Butts played senior hockey for the
Calgary Spurs. He was also a
college recruiter and a volunteer for
the 1988 Calgary Olympiad.
Nicknamed "Big Ange," Angie
Moretto played under coaches
Renfrew and Don Farrell. In 1973-
74, Moretto led the team in scoring
with 47 points and in the 1974-75
season he again led the team with
67 points. Along with teammate
Moretto was one
of the first
players drafted in
amateur draft in
I o In 1974,
Barnett both goals in a
to take the Great
Moretto is still
an active player
in the Senior
J mes didn't play for
a 0the Wolverines
but his contributions to the team
have been enormous. Barnett acted as
official timer for the team from 1958
to 1983. In 1962, Barnett along with
eleven other Michigan fans, formed
the Dekers. For fifteen years, Barnett
edited and published the Deker
newsletter and has served as the
chairperson of the Dekers Hall of
Fame since the organization's
inception. Among his memorable
moments were timing the last game
in the old Coliseum and the first
game in Yost Ice Arena.
The induction ceremonies will
begin at 7:20 pm on Saturday night
at Yost, preceding the face-off of the
Michigan hockey game versus
by Jeni Durst
Daily Hockey Writer
Sunday, December 2, 1990.
Boston. The Michigan hockey team
versus top-ranked Boston College.
There is a temporary stoppage in
Number six in the Maize and
Blue, Chris Tamer, paws at an
Apposing player's helmet. Teammate
Aaron Ward drops his gloves and
pulls a Boston player's shirt over his
head. Fellow Wolverines Cam
Stewart and Ted Kramer join the
action, grabbing and pushing at two
-It's a familiar sight to many
Michigan fans and opposing teams
around the Central Collegiate
I16ckey Association. Week after
.eek, fans can find these four
Wolverines repeatedly slamming
bodies into the boards, subtly and
not-so-subtly pushing players when
the officials backs are turned ... and
frequently sitting in the penalty box.
Together they have combined for
123 of the team's total 280 penalties
this year, Wolverine coach Red
Btrenson concedes they are making
names for themselves as the
hitmen" of the Michigan squad, and
perhaps the league, carrying
nicknames such as "The Assassin,"
(Ward) "Jackhammer" (Stewart), and
just plain goon.
With. this type of background,
one might expect these guys to walk
aupund campus wearing studded black
l~ther jackets, folding Camel no-
fjter cigarettes up their sleeves, and
inly speaking in four-letter words.
t just as actors who play dastardly
v lains on television are usually the
lkdest people in reality, these play-
eo differ from their on-ice personas.
But in meeting them, one is faced
npt with the Sharks of "West Side
Spry," but Richie Cunningham
types - nice, very quiet students
describing themselves with terms
such as laid-back, easy-going, and
Gentle? These are guys who
attack taunting spectators with their
sick while sitting in the penalty
bex, take wild swings at players for
holding them in the corner just a bit
too long, and display certain finger
gestures at other teams and referees.
The average fan's image of the
cookie Ward was that of a 6-2, 200-
ound brute taking down players.
Actually, he is a red-cheeked 17-year-
61d who, in between munches on
iiniature Snickers and caramel corn,
talked about how excited he was to
$ee Les Miserables that night. Not
exactly the food of Clint Eastwood
Stewart came across differently.
But his quiet demeanor and wit also
presented a completely opposite
image than his on-ice veneer. The
guy whom Ward said would make
you "suck glass and eat the sticker
on the plexiglas" repeated his claim
that he's just an ordinary, affable
Tamer can present an
intimidating exterior. He has more
than made a name for himself as an
intimidator around the league and
even his own teammates emphasized
But even when he talked about
his early boxing lessons and
reminisced about fights he'd
participated in, it was impossible
not to feel comfortable around him.
Though soft-spoken, his warmth
penetrated his tacit nature.
Kramer's everyday personality
ranges the farthest from his game
image. He finds comfort in just
sitting in front of the TV and
relaxing. He strives to leave hockey
behind when he exits the rink, and to
be an everyday student. One of his
favorite pastimes is golf, a sport
where the only contact is with a
little white ball.
"We're really calm guys actually,
but when we go out on the ice it's
different - a different attitude,"
leftwinger Stewart explained.
"People that didn't know me thought
I was really tough off the ice. If you
go to a bar or whatever, people
expect you to get into fights. If you
don't know us, you might think that
we're aggressive and mean, but it's
not like that at all."
So what is it like?
What is it about a pair of skates
and a wooden stick that makes these
shy, calm, gentle individuals act the
way they do? It's true that most
athletes go through some kind of
attitude change when they compete:
a normally distracted person becomes
focused and a jovial person becomes
serious. But can a truly nice guy
become as mean as these guys
appear during a game?
"It's sort of a Dr. Jeckyl and Mr.
Hyde thing," rightwinger Kramer
said. "And I think a lot of it's pride.
If I get out on the ice and I get
railed, I know I look like an idiot
because I look like some weakling
that just got nailed. And of course
you want to get back up and get that
guy. It's a one-on-one thing - you
hit me, well, I'm going to hit you
harder. There's a lot of pride in-
volved and that comes from within."
They all admitted to harboring a
fierce temper that seems to burn hot-
terout on the ice. They release all of
their anger and frustration during a
game and leave with the best sides of
their personalities for their "normal"
lives. They've taken it upon
themselves to pump up their team,
the crowd, and themselves and they
do it the best way they know how.
"It excites me so much to hit
someone," defenseman Ward said.
"When I hear 'The Victors' song I
get so pumped, I want to hit
someone in warm-up; I feel like
doing something to stir up the
crowd. Tamer and I sit sometimes
and talk about who we want to get
out there, not really who to get, but
who is being an annoying factor in
But there is certainly more to
being a physical presence than just
taking care of a few troublesome
players. The main reason these
players harass someone is to stick
up for their own team, not to get an
There are physical players on
other teams who are going to go
after Michigan's "annoying factors"
- many times the top scorer or the
goalie - and it's these four who
stop them from doing it. They add
an intimidation factor to the Mich-
igan that most teams can't escape.
'It's sort of a Dr.
Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde
thing. And I think a lot
of it's pride.'
- Ted Kramer,
Wolverine righ twinger
"The whole thing about being an
intimidator is so people won't do
something to you and won't do stuff
to your teammates," defenseman Ta-
mer said. "Maybe they'll think twice
next time about sticking one of our
top players if they know a couple
guys out there don't like it and are
going to do something about it."
And in the overall team concept
there are definitely many dimensions
to the game of hockey. A lot of the
time the skill of a team can be
greatly diminished just by the way a
game is flowing.
A basement squad has been
known to demolish a first-place team
just by grabbing onto the mo-
mentum of the game, when a good
hit can be as instrumental as a goal.
And when the Wolverines need a hit
and a little momentum they know
where to look: Tamer, Kramer,
Stewart, and Ward. Just like the
players who go out and score every
night, these four fill a needed role.
"As a group they add a physical
dimension to our team in the sense
that they play the man," Berenson
said. "They give our team that
element of toughness that every
good team needs.",
But there are many negatives
attached to carrying a bad reputation.
Every weekend they must deal with
opposing teams and very often
hostile fans pick them out as the
ones to persecute. They must endure
being pushed around and hit by
players, and booed, heckled and even
spit on by spectators. Many times,
even the referees let the reputations
blind their judgement.
"There are players on each team
and probably Stewart, me, Ward, and
Tamer are the four guys the refs
know that'll get their penalties and
rough it up a little bit," Kramer said.
"I think that we cannot do as
much as other players can, that we
won't get away with as much as
other players can because they're
always watching us.
"And, on the other hand, I think
other players can do more to us that
the refs will not call just because it's
Even Michigan fans heed their
reputations more than those of other
Kramer is not remembered for
being fourth on the overall career
scoring list for Michigan, but for
being the "Charles Manson of the
CCHA," as one Bowling Green
sportswriter put it.
Tamer is not known for holding a
top plus/minus goal ratio or for his
ability on the power play, but for
compiling a record 60 penalties last
year as a rookie.
Stewart plays a key role on the
all-rookie second line and was a
third-round draft choice of the Boston
Bruins last year at 18. But when
people talk about him it is only his
team-high number of penalties (38)
and his hard hits in the corner that
dominate the conversation.
People do not pay attention to
how many shots Ward blocks or his
presence on the second defensive line
in just his first-year, but rather how
many times he takes a man down.
"They're good kids and they're
good students, but they're still
players," Berenson said. "It's not
like they rely on playing aggressive
hockey and that's all there is to their
game. That's something that maybe
the fans have noticed early in their
careers, but they should also take
note that they have other important
elements to their game."
And their lives.
1. Lake Superior (20-3-3)
2. Michigan (18-5-3)
3. Ferris State (16-5-5)
4. Michigan State (12-10-4)
5. Bowling Green (11-13-2)
Western Michigan (12-11-3)
7. Ohio State (8-16-3)
8. UIC (6-17-1)
9. Miami (4-18-3)
Tencdin9 the Ty po9raphic Ciarcten
a lecture by
1J es eyS . Tanner
Thursday, ,an. 17, 7:30 p.m.
University of nitcan Library
D epartment ofj Rare Books and Special Collections
Room 711 Matcher Library
the art of
Wesley$ . Tanner
Twenty W orks from Twenty Jear s
An ehtbi-tion of fine Limited-edition books
printed in Berkeley, California, between the years
1970 - 1990 by the noted printer
now through arch 23, 1991
Department of Rare Books and Special Cottections
a1- The Universitty of nichigan Library
81/2X11, white, self serve or auto fed only
Open 24 Hours
An Asian American Art Show
nce the "Road to the Joe"
Wolverines vs. Bowling Green
Saturday, January 19, 1991
Yost Ice Arena
Puck drops at 7:30 p.m.
4-0247 FOR TICKET INFO