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Parros defends fighting, shootouts

Ask George Parros about fighting and he'll give you plenty of reasons it should stay in the NHL. Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports

Longtime NHL enforcer George Parros refuses to slow down.

Since retiring in December, Parros has moved to Las Vegas, where he continues to build Violent Gentlemen, the T-shirt line he launched four years ago. Throw in 3-year-old twins and his wife, Tiffany, who has her own fashion line as well as a starring spot on the Canadian reality show "Hockey Wives," and the outspoken Parros is as busy as ever.

But he still has several other future plans, not to mention plenty of opinions.

ESPN.com: What is your take on the diminished role of enforcers in the NHL?

George Parros: In general, I think the league wants to get away from staged fights, even though that's kind of a bad description for them. We're kind of phased out. I think there is a certain group of fans that are bummed by that. The game is in a really good state right now. It's high scoring, fast paced. But I don't think fighting's going to go anywhere.

There's going to be a point where there are too few guys who will do anything about keeping people in check on the ice. When you have too few guys around like me, or the way I used to be, you're going to have guys that run around fearless and throwing some really aggressive checks to the head, back -- dangerous types of hits. That's where you're going to see more injuries because they're skating around unchecked. That's something that everyone needs to keep an eye on.

ESPN.com: What about introducing 3-on-3 play in overtime and possibly avoiding shootouts?

Parros: I love a good shootout. I know it's tough to lose points based on something like that -- especially when it can have an effect on playoffs -- but I don't mind the shootout. I think a lot of people enjoy it, especially the casual fan. I think 3-on 3-would be fine, but I don't agree with them necessarily making the overtime seven minutes so they can squeeze in 3-on-3 time.

ESPN.com: You ever get a chance at a shootout in your career?

Parros: Thank God, no. Nobody wants to see that.

ESPN.com: Who is the toughest player you ever fought?

Parros: Steve MacIntyre. He's a beast. I caught him early in my career in the minors. He was pretty young and green back then, as was I. When he came to the NHL and I fought him again, he really had figured out the full fighting thing. I was in for a good one there. He was 6-foot-8, so he was really imposing. It was no fun having to fight him, or a guy like Derek Boogaard.

ESPN.com: Any chirps that stick out for you in your career?

Parros: There was a guy I used to fight all the time in the minors. His name was Brendan Walsh. He was a little pisspot from South Boston. He was 5-foot-10, a little guy but tough as they come and had a mouth on him like you wouldn't believe. I had these leather earstraps on my helmet, kind of like Mark Messier. They would give them to fighters sometimes back then so they wouldn't rip off your helmet. He used to skate by and say [Parros does an impressive Boston accent] "Georgie, I'm going to rip those leather straps off your head and beat you with them." That was funny.

ESPN.com: Who do you consider the best player in the league right now?

Parros: It's hard to argue that Sidney Crosby isn't that guy. He does it year in and year out. He certainly is valuable to his team. Having played with the likes of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, those guys are super impressive as well. They don't get the same press that other guys would because they're in the Sun Belt down there in Anaheim, but they're as good as they come, too. Of course, Carey Price in Montreal. He's as important to that team as anyone else in the league.

ESPN.com: What about the talk of potential franchises in Las Vegas or Seattle?

Parros: I think there will be expansion. We actually just moved to Las Vegas, so I've been paying attention to that a little bit. I think a team can survive there. They're worried about the local population supporting the team, but that population is ready, willing and able to get behind a local team. It would certainly be an interesting stop on the tour.

ESPN.com: What is the talk like in Las Vegas about a potential NHL franchise?

Parros: There's certainly excitement about it. It's still not at a fever pitch, I think, because the team isn't there. But you run into a lot of people who have bought tickets and are anticipating a team coming. I ran into a guy at the gym who was wearing a Violent Gentlemen Ducks shirt. I went up to say, "Great-looking shirt" because it's my shirt company. He said he wanted to support the team in Las Vegas but didn't know much about hockey, so he decided to drive to Anaheim and watch a game, then drive to L.A. and watch a game and psych himself up for hockey.

ESPN.com: Any preferences for what a team in Las Vegas should be called?

Parros: I know the ownership is throwing around the idea of calling them the Black Knights. [Prospective owner Bill Foley] was an Army guy, so he'd like to do something like that. It would be kind of cool to be a throwback to one of the teams that was there in the past, like the Wranglers or the Thunder.

ESPN.com: You went to Princeton before becoming an NHL enforcer. Is there another player whose enforcer image is completely different from what he's really like?

Parros: Stu Grimson is one of the most well-spoken, flat-out nice, almost-meek personalities I know. I never really played with him or against him. Thank God, because I wouldn't want to run into him out there on the ice. He certainly bucked the stereotype. He's a lawyer now.

ESPN.com: You mentioned Violent Gentlemen. What else do you see for yourself in the future?

Parros: I definitely want to stay involved in the sport of hockey on some level. I'm trying to figure that out right now and see what kind of options I might have after this season when people start hiring again. I always thought being a general manager would be a lot of fun. It's interesting work. But there are so many paths you can go down in this sport, so we'll wait and see what happens.

ESPN.com: Your mustache has become iconic. How often are you complimented on your facial hair?

Parros: Quite often. It's certainly set me apart, that's for sure. People want to take pictures and touch it and do all sorts of other weird stuff. It's always interesting. It takes on a life of its own sometimes. I get a lot of random people who don't know who I am but they like the mustache.

ESPN.com: What do you think of the job Gary Bettman has done as commissioner?

Parros: I don't know where you're going with that one. Sounds like you're trying to lead me down somewhere. Gary has done a great job for his constituents, that's for sure. The game is certainly healthy and prepared for expansion. I think that says a lot about Gary.

ESPN.com: With your wife, Tiffany, now starring on "Hockey Wives," how does it feel being married to a reality star?

Parros: We're living in the States and it's playing in Canada, so it's not too bad. She could become the famous one between the two of us.