John Scott, one of the NHL’s last pure enforcers, is set to suit up this weekend and captain the Pacific squad at the NHL All-Star game. Scott is one of only a handful of players left in the NHL whose career revolves around the damage he can do with his fists and his imposing 6’8”, 255-pound figure. He is the last of a dying breed – a fraternity of enforcers who used to have an important place in every NHL lineup. The Calgary Flames have had many tough, gritty, face-punchers over the years. Here is a quick look at the last four notable players who served the tough guy role in Calgary.
Tim Jackman – 2010-2014
Tim Jackman played 209 games for the Flames over the course of four season. During his first season in Calgary (2010-2011) the enforcer suited up in all 82 games, notching 10 goals and 23 points. Slowly, over the course of his final three seasons, Jackman’s playing time decreased and his already limited offensive output became almost non-existent. He wasn’t afraid to drop the gloves though, racking up 36 fights during his Flames career. The 2011-12 season was his most productive, as he fought 14 times over the course of 75 games.
Here is the 6’2″, 225-pound Jackman going at it with Avalanche rookie David Liffiton.
Brian McGrattan – 2009-10, 2012-2015
Brian McGrattan, a 6’4”, 235 pound forward, fought 28 times for the Flames over the course of 137 games. The Hamilton, ON native had two separate stints with the Flames, split by two seasons in Nashville. His most memorable season in Calgary came in 2013-14 when he fought 11 times, racked up 100 penalty minutes and chipped in with four goals. Like most other fighters his NHL career came to an abrupt halt when the league decided to shy away from the prototypical enforcer. In his final year with the Flames, and final season in the NHL, he only played eight games.
Here is McGrattan tossing bombs at Edmonton’s Luke Gazdic.
Kevin Westgarth – 2013-2014
Although Kevin Westgarth’s career with the Calgary Flames only last 34 games, one fight during that span is a perfect example why fighting in the NHL can be dangerous. On March 1, 2014 Westgarth took four solid right hooks from Edmonton Oilers forward Luke Gazdic with the final blow knocking him out cold. After lying on his back for a few minutes Westgarth was helped to his feet and staggered over the Flames bench. The fight was his third of sixth in a Flames uniform during his final season in the NHL. Oddly enough, Wesgarth and Gazdic would drop the gloves again just 21 days later.
Here is Westgarth vs. Gazdic Part I:
Eric Godard – 2006-2008
Like Westgarth, Eric Godard’s Calgary Flames career was short a short one. Even though he only saw 93 games in a Flames uniform over the course of two seasons, the Vernon, BC native still manage to rack up the fighting majors at an impressive rate. In terms of fights per games played Godard is definitely among the Flames all time leaders. The 6’4″, 222-pound forward fought an average of once every four games during his short stint in Calgary. During the 2007-08 season, a year in which Godard appeared in 74 games, the scrappy forward fought 17 times.
Here is Godard and St. Louis Blues forward D.J King exchanging haymakers.
Multi-media journalist with the Bonnyville Nouvelle. Back up play-by-play broadcaster for the Bonnyville Jr. A Pontiacs. Sports writer.