Jul 23, 2011

Top 10 Toughest Fighters in the NHL

A breakdown of who fights the most, and the best, in the NHL…

nhl fighters


10. Brian McGrattan

Flames, RW


Photo: Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images

According to a recent poll of 272 NHL players conducted by Sports Illustrated magazine, the 6-4, 235-pound right winger received four votes (1.5 percent), good enough to rate among the league's 10 toughest fighters. According to hockeyfights.com, McGrattan is 10-2-2 this season, with his two defeats coming at the hands of heavyweights Colton Orr and Derek Boogaard.


9. George Parros

Ducks, RW


Photo: Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images

The Princeton-educated pugilist (he has a degree in economics) received five votes (1.8 percent). He may only be 5-10-5 this season, and 14-18-11 the last two combined, but he's obviously not a pleasant encounter.


8. Rick Rypien

Canucks, C


Photo: AP

Now playing in his first full NHL campaign -- the feisty 5-11, 184-pound center saw action in a total of 41 games for Vancouver from 2005-06 through 2008-09 -- Rypien boasts an impressive 11-3-1 mark this season and was rewarded with six votes (2.2 percent) from his black and blue peers.


7. Georges Laraque

Canadiens, RW


Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Now in the twilight of his 12-year NHL career -- his season-and-a-half in Montreal was plagued by injury and in January the team suspended him with pay for the rest of the schedule, citing lack of productivity -- but in his prime, he was one of the league's most feared purveyors of knuckle sandwiches. Interestingly, all six of his votes (2.2 percent) came from players in the Eastern Conference.


6. Eric Godard

Penguins, RW


Photo: Fred Vuich/SI

The 6-4, 225-pound right winger got three percent of the vote. A stretch on the sideline due to a groin injury has helped limit him to modest 3-1-2 mark this season, but in 2008-09, Godard appeared in an NHL career-high 21 regular-season scraps. He went 11-5-5 while splitting four bouts, and lips no doubt, with the dreaded Colton Orr.


5. D.J. King

Blues, LW


Photo: Manny Flores/Icon SMI

Weighing in at 221 pounds, the Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan product has done most of his scrapping in the WHL and AHL, but his 29 bouts over four NHL seasons have made a painful impression. He also got three percent of the vote even though he's seen limited action with Blues this season. The 2007-08 NHL campaign was his finest, as he appeared in 14 dust-ups and went 9-2-3 while taking on the likes of Derek Boogaard, George Parros, Eric Godard and Jody Shelley.


4. Zdeno Chara

Bruins, D


Photo: Mike Carlson/NHLI via Getty Images

The towering 6-9 defenseman, who got four percent of the overall vote, isn't known for fighting (just one bout this season and only 13 since the lockout), but he's a knockout when he drops the gloves. In 2005, he broke the jaw of Montreal's Raitis Ivanans with one punch.


3. Jody Shelley

Rangers, LW


Photo: Lou Capozzola/SI

The bruising Broadway Blueshirt winger, a veteran of 174 NHL fights since 2000, earned five percent of the vote. He's 7-3-3 this season, with wins over Colton Orr and Eric Godard, and his career resume includes three bouts with the legendary Bob Probert in one 2002 game while playing for Columbus, and a fourth two days later.


2. Colton Orr

Maple Leafs, RW


Photo: Abelimages/Getty Images

Clearly one of the NHL's most feared merchants of mayhem, the 6-3, 222-pound Orr pulled down 21 percent of the vote. He's stuck his crooked nose into 23 fights this season, overcoming a tepid 3-7-6 start with six consecutive victories in his last seven bouts. Last season, he was an impressive 12-4-2.


1. Derek Boogaard

Wild, LW


Photo: Marilyn Indahl/Icon SMI

The legendary Boogey Man was the overall winner with a whopping 44 percent of the vote. Hailing from Saskatoon and standing at 6-7 with 250 glowering pounds on his frame, Boogaard is indeed a Wild man. His hands have been described as concrete blocks, and his record reflects it. He's undefeated in nine bouts this season, the lone survivor being Vancouver's Darcy Hordichuk, who fought him to a draw on January 13.



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