Imagine playing 32 games in the ECHL in the early 90’s and racking up 293 penalty minutes. Or how about two seasons later, playing 28 games and earning 237 penalty minutes. Even better, what about back-to-back seasons where you played a combined 40 games, and somehow you accumulated 318 PIM. Such was a snapshot of the pro career of Ron Aubrey. From 1987 to 1999 Aubrey made a career out of being a tough guy — the I’ll-beat-you-senseless variety. This guy had a Thor-hammer fist, a temper that boiled constantly and a love for mixin’ it up. Ironically (or not), he only played 30+ games once during a single season — circa 1991-1992 with the Toledo Storm of the ECHL. He was the player that everyone feared. He was also the one that everyone wanted on their team. My how I miss 90’s minor league hockey.
Living in a CHL hockey town during the 90’s, I knew of Ron Aubrey. He played a total of 24 games as an Oklahoma City Blazer, and he was nothing short of entertaining to watch. For it was a day and a time and a place where goonery was still welcomed. Where guys could make a semi-living swinging their fists with razor blades on their feet. And as I think of some of those CHL brawls, I can’t help but envision the face of Sir Aubrey, punisher of the Midwest.
If you’ve seen the movie Goon, there’s some actual fight footage toward the end of the film. It’s Doug Smith (Doug Glatt in the film) taking someone to task during a Bruins training camp. Wanna guess who the other guy is that’s fighting Dougie? It’s rumored to be none other than Ron Aubrey. Aubrey and Smith had a notoriously seedy relationship. To put it mildly — they hated each other. Doug Smith referred to Aubrey in his book as a “speed bag in a suitcase”. And thus Aubrey lives in infamy as the other guy in that fight. But his life is slightly different these days.
Aubrey has spent the last 25 years doing other things. Owning one of the largest dry wall companies in Oklahoma City wasn’t enough. Ron dove back into the sports pool, head first, but in a slightly different direction. He’s now a semi-pro boxer, and a pretty good one at that.
The bio on his official site says this:
Ron “The Ice Man” Aubrey started his boxing career training out of his garage at age 39. His routines included various exercises that he would eventually expand on when he began training in Oklahoma with David Vaughn. Ron made his boxing debut at the EL 2002 Ballroom in Oklahoma City on June 15th 2007. His first opponent, Kelly Sheldon suffered a first round knock out at the hands of “The Ice Man”. Ron Aubrey currently trains full time with some of the best trainers in the industry, and has built an impressive 13-2-1 professional record.
Ron Aubrey has ranged between 272 – 292 pounds in his professional career. His outstanding win/loss record, which includes 10 first-round knockouts, has made promoters, trainers and boxing fans alike take notice over this heavy hitting boxer. Ron “The Ice Man” Aubrey continues to climb the ranks and his current status is active. His upcoming fight/s should be undoubtedly some of the most exciting heavyweight bouts the sport has seen in a long time.
Now called “The Ice Man”, Aubrey is making an impression in the boxing world. Not surprisingly, he’s a heavyweight force to be reckoned with. And apparently it suits him perfectly judging by his record.
As a resident of Oklahoma City, Aubrey finds time to manage life as a loving husband and father in addition to heavyweight boxing. In a few weeks, Aubrey will hit the ring for a bout inside the Cox Center. It will likely be a similar ending for his opponent, just as it was years prior when he called himself a Blazer and wore a drawstringed jersey.
It’s always interesting to discover those that trailblazed Oklahoma City hockey. Some of it was good, some of it bad, but either way it was a history full of rich and colorful characters. Aubrey is one of those characters. Full of life. Full of grit. Full of nastiness. As days go by, and hockey gets more legit in OKC, it’s comforting knowing that a guy like Aubrey finds ways to have success in life in other avenues professionally, whether it’s dry wall construction or painful jabs.