Fighting has long been a part of hockey’s culture and it continues to set the game apart from other professional sports. While new research into CTE has opened up the eyes of the hockey world to the possible long-term dangers of continuous fighting, there are still many fans that enjoy watching two willing participants scrap for blood. Hockey might not be the cleanest or easiest sport to play, but those that opt to drop the gloves with their opponent are usually given the respect that they are due.
Here’s a compilation of some of the best highlight reel duels:
30.) Jared Boll vs. Aaron Voros
Aaron Voros and Jared Boll certainly had some stamina as their fired away at each other, but this fight was interesting on a number of levels. While Voros was equal to the task when it came to fighting Columbus’ tough guy, Boll employed an interesting technique when taking on his opponent. For every haymaker that Boll threw, he followed it up with an equally vicious and wild uppercut. Even if this fight wasn’t enough to entertain the masses based on punches thrown, it was quite amusing to see the referees take the net off of its moorings in order to let Voros and Boll continue uninterrupted.
29.) Bob Probert vs. Marty McSorley
This fight did not have a grand opening or closing, but Marty McSorley and Bob Probert sure put on a show. The camera angle and view from behind the Pittsburgh bench said it all as the Penguins’ players stood up to watch McSorley take on a legend. While the Pittsburgh bench stood in awe of what was going on, the linesmen were having trouble finding an opportune time to break up the scuffle. Considering that these two heavyweights took so long to be separated from each other and had quite an extensive fight history before this battle, it is safe to say that many hockey fans enjoyed watching these two players duke it out throughout the 80s and 90s.
28.) Gord Kluzak vs. Jim Kyte
Can anyone say Stephan Bonnar vs. Forrest Griffin Part I? Seriously, these guys went to war for a bit longer than a half of a minute, but neither of them refused to give up. Even the commentator mentioned that neither player wanted to go down, and it was evident that neither Kluzak nor Kyte was ready to concede defeat in the slightest bit.
27.) Troy Crowder vs. Bob Probert
Troy Crowder might have gotten the best of Bob Probert during the early stages of this fight, but “Probie” definitely showed his resilience. Crowder’s initial shots could have surprised Probert as the fight seemed to sway in favor of the Devils’ tough guy, but Probert unleashed two blows that ultimately felled his opponent. Even though Crowder was on the receiving end of some hard punches, his calm demeanor after a bout with the legendary Probert illustrated that the right winger was also as tough as they come.
26.) Wade Belak vs. Donald Brashear
Wade Belak might be gone, but he is certainly not forgotten. Belak will always be remembered for his strength, will, and courage, and the above clip summarized the career of one of hockey’s toughest players. Not only did the forward/defenseman gladly take on veteran tough guy Georges Laraque, he accomplished a feat that many had failed at before. There aren’t many hockey players that can say that they have hit Laraque to the point where he looked dazed and confused, but Belak certainly deserved his bragging rights after taking down one of hockey’s toughest enforcers.
25.) Tie Domi vs. Donald Brashear
Despite a flurry of punches from Brashear during the early stages of the fight, Tie Domi bounced back in classic fashion. Even though Domi was undersized when compared to other NHL tough guys of his time, his passion more than made up for his height disadvantage. While there was no clear cut winner during this hailstorm of fisticuffs, Domi’s willingness to go toe to toe with a player that had an obvious reach and height advantage against him was more than commendable.
24.) Colton Orr vs. David Koci
Colton Orr might have had his equipment blocking his view of David Koci for a brief period of time, but that certainly didn’t stop him from returning some pleasantries once he could see his opponent. As soon as Koci wasn’t aided by Orr’s helmet, the Toronto tough guy unleashed a couple of right hands that made up for the connections that Koci had made a bit earlier. Not only did Orr make his presence felt by dropping a couple of bombs on his opponent, he lifted Koci’s jersey over his face before delivering his final right-handed swing. All in all, the efforts of Koci and Orr were appreciated by the benches, something that signified that these two players had a classic hard fought slug-fest.
23.) Justin Cubitt vs. Adam Easterbrook
The caption for this YouTube video is certainly fitting. This might be one of the best Junior hockey fights on the web, and one of the most lopsided as well. It was surprising to see Adam Easterbrook skate away as gingerly as he did because he sure did take a beating at the hands of Justin Cubitt. For all of the hardcore hockey fight fanatics, this pummeling might be a real point of interest as the number of right hands that Easterbrook received is still undetermined.
22.) Ken Tasker vs. Trevor Senn
Was this a hockey fight or a TV spot for sock-em bop-em robots? Tasker and Senn exchanged quite a few blows, but the commentator also gets honorable mentions for this clip. Even though he was calling a hockey game, the commentator was quite enthusiastic when depicting the events that were unfolding on the ice. If anything, the enthusiasm for fighting on the parts of Tasker, Senn, and the commentator were enough to show why some hockey fans are marveled and impressed when witnessing such a display.
21.) Tommy Salo vs. Dan Cloutier
Perhaps Tommy Salo’s biggest mistake was leaving the goal crease in order to help Mariusz Czerkawski. To say that Dan Cloutier put a beating on Salo would be putting it lightly. Cloutier literally beat Salo until the latter revisited elementary school tactics and curled up into a ball as best as he could. Who knows, maybe it was the Isles’ wavy color scheme that ticked off Cloutier. After all, one doesn’t receive that type of punishment unless they really deserved it.
20.) Bob Probert vs. Tie Domi Round 1
Tie Domi never failed to entertain, and his first meeting with Bob Probert illustrated that the right winger certainly didn’t fear a challenge. Domi landed a few shots on Probert and “Probie” was quick to answer back, but the simple fact that this fight spawned two other showdowns between Red Wings and Rangers players made this a memorable clip. If anything, this clip could be used as evidence (0:58 – 1:03) to show that Aaron Rodgers wasn’t the sole inspiration for the Discount Double Check.
19.) Jesse Boulerice vs. Aaron Downey
It’s not that Jesse Boulerice didn’t stand a chance in this fight, but his eager advance ultimately did him in. Downey’s counter was timed well enough to knock Boulerice to the ice, and the crowd’s subsequent roar of approval gave credence to the right winger’s decisive victory.
18.) Bob Probert vs. Tie Domi Round 2
It’s safe to say that Tie Domi wasn’t crowning himself champion this time around. Probert unleashed a barrage of punches on Domi during their rematch, but Domi took every strike in stride and fought back as best as he could. Even though Probert had many rematches with a multitude of opponents, his fights against Tie Domi were some of the most memorable of his storied career.
17.) PJ Stock vs. Stephen Peat
Ah, shades of Gord Kluzak and Jim Kyte. While watching some of these fights may not represent the most gentlemanly side of hockey to an individual, the efforts of Stock and Peat are meant to serve a purpose. Even though fighting to energize one’s respective team might seem to be a bit of a crude tactic, such actions can be highly lauded by one’s teammates and could turn out to be galvanizing forces for a hockey team.
16.) Arron Asham vs. Cam Janssen
This was a tale of two fights. Janssen’s fast start out of the gate resulted in two knockdowns of Arron Asham, but the Philadelphia tough guy was quick to answer during the latter portion of the fight. Asham returned the favor to Janssen by felling him with a hard right hand, but it was clear that the players deserved their respective cheers.