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Thread: Top 10 All Time NHL Tough Guys.

  1. #1
    Scallywag minir's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Top 10 All Time NHL Tough Guys.

    Hi to all

    Personally i have seen all fight except Beaton at one time or another and have no qualms about agreeing with the list, though i think Dave Brown was better than Dave Schultz.
    ---


    The best hockey fighters of all time
    By MURRAY GREIG
    =====

    MURRAY GREIG has trained and managed professional boxers and has worked the corner in Canadian, Commonwealth and world title fights. Here he sizes up the fistic prowess of hockey players that he's personally seen drop the gloves ...

    ---

    1. GORDIE HOWE (Simply no question here)

    Arguably the greatest forward in the history of the game, Mr. Hockey was also - indisputably - the best fighter.

    Forget about different eras, bigger guys, improved training and conditioning. In terms of pure fighting ability, Howe was the real deal - head and shoulders above the rest.

    Not surprisingly, many of the ingredients that made this six-foot, 205-lb. strongman such a superb player also elevated his fistic prowess. The balance that made him almost impossible to knock down during the ebb and flow of a game never failed him when he shed the gloves. But the two most devastating weapons in his arsenal were an un teachable ability to concentrate maximum force in every punch, and the single-minded killer instinct of a shark.

    The fight that would forever cement Howe's reputation as a player never to be trifled with took place on a February night in 1959, and fittingly enough it was at Madison Square Garden, the mecca of big time boxing. Howe's Detroit Red Wings were battling the New York Rangers, and midway through the first period Howe and New York's Eddie Shack collided violently behind the Rangers net. Neither player was the worse for wear, but referee Frank Udvari moved in to make sure their sticks stayed down.

    Just as the tension seemed diffused, however, Rangers tough guy Lou Fontinato - six-foot-two and 220 pounds - came roaring in from the blue line and suckered the unsuspecting Howe with three hellacious lefts to the head. Fontinato, the NHL's reigning penalty king, had forged a league-wide reputation as a formidable heavyweight by resorting to such tactics to leave opposing players crumpled in a heap.

    But Howe barely budged.

    Instead, he shook off the punches, then grabbed Fontinato by the throat and pulled him in. At the same time, he cocked his left fist and fired a single punch that shattered Fontinato's cheek bone. Propping up the dazed Ranger with his right arm, Howe threw another punch that broke Fontinato's nose. A third left opened a huge gash over his eye. A fourth split both lips.

    One of Fontinato's teammates later said Howe's punches "sounded like an axe splitting wood."

    Nobody made a move as Howe delivered the coup de grace, a short, chopping right that dropped Fontinato face-first in a bloody heap. The Detroit star then turned and skated directly to the penalty box. Fontinato went to hospital.

    Howe played another 20 years of professional hockey after that night, finally retiring at the age of 52. And you could count on one hand the number of guys who challenged him over those two decades. 'Nuff said.

    2. JOHN FERGUSON (Yep Jr's. Dad)

    Ferguson, who learned to fight while carving out a reputation as one of Canada's best - and most vicious - lacrosse players, had just eight years in the NHL, all with the Montreal Canadiens. But his mile-wide mean streak and ability to throw bombs with both hands made him the league's No. 2 heavyweight (behind Howe) throughout his career. He also had the God-given toughness to keep winging power punches while shaking off the cleanest shots from his foes.

    3. DAVE SEMENKO (Kept Gretz Alive)

    Wayne Gretzky's personal bodyguard would have been a force to contend with in any era. Big, incredibly strong and surprisingly mobile on his skates in the close confines of a fight, his specialty was getting an iron grip on the other guy's sweater and then pumping jackhammer jabs to the face to render him senseless. It worked every time. Semenko was so good, in fact, that he acquitted himself admirably in a three-round exhibition with Muhammad Ali at Northlands Coliseum on June 13, 1983. Ali was only five years removed from being heavyweight champion of the world and took the exhibition quite seriously.

    4. ORLAND KURTENBACH (A Class Boxer)

    The first captain of the Vancouver Canucks was given a wide berth by everyone because his unusually long reach and quick fists spelled disaster. Kurtenbach was a master at luring opponents inside to try to tag him, for which he inevitably made them pay by landing the best uppercuts the NHL has ever seen.

    5. BOB PROBERT (Tough)

    Probert's reputation was made in two memorable tilts with Tie Domi when the latter was with the Rangers, but perhaps his greatest performance was Feb. 4, 1994 when he fought Pittsburgh's Marty McSorely in a 100-second war at Joe Louis Arena. Halfway through, a single punch knocked the 230-pound McSorely to his knees - but the feisty Penguin regained his feet and won grudging respect from the appreciative crowd for continuing to throw long after he was beaten.

    6. DAVE SCHULTZ

    "The Hammer" was the leader of the infamous Broadstreet Bullies and the player most responsible for the "Philadelphia flu" that mysteriously infected visiting players during warmups at the old Spectrum. Schultz wasn't overly huge - six-foot-one, 190 lbs. - but his broad shoulders and wide stance made him almost impossible to knock down, even with a clean shot. His favourite tactic was to simply wade in behind a flurry of two-handed punches and keep throwing until the zebras arrived.

    7. DAVE BROWN (Better than rated imho)

    Brown joined the Philadelphia Flyers late in the 1982-83 season as Schultz's heir apparent after amassing 418 penalty minutes in 70 games with the American Hockey League's Maine Mariners. At six-foot-five and 225 pounds, he was usually bigger than the guys he beat up - but he did so with a combination of panache and fluid punching ability rarely seen before or since.

    8. MARTY MCSORLEY

    McSorley was one of the first NHLers to be tutored by a professional boxing trainer, and it paid off in spades. Early in his career he was more of a "slapper" and rarely put together effective combinations, but after being introduced to some fundamentals he became a much more patient and intelligent fighter, able to land big shots from any angle.

    9. STU GRIMSON

    Like McSorely, "The Grim Reaper" was another tough guy whose fighting ability improved dramatically over the course of his career. Early on, he had no balance and was susceptible to shots from shorter, stockier foes. But after a couple of years in the league he bulked up and became a legitimate terror, notching multiple wins over fellow enforcers Enrico Ciccone, Shane Churla and Krystof Oliwa.

    10. FRANK BEATON

    The lone Top 10 contender from the World Hockey Association was nicknamed "Seldom" for good reason. And he helped transform the Birmingham Bulls from doormats to demons. Small by heavyweight standards (five-foot-10, 190 pounds), Beaton was a bonafide bomber who could pummel an opponent non-stop for a full minute, then turn around and do the same to another one ... and another one. The WHA was like that.

    Beaton's lightning-quick fists first drew acclaim in 1976 when he took just 30 games to shatter the old Southern Hockey League's single-season penalty mark, but he became a legend on Thanksgiving Day 1977, when the Bulls hosted the Cincinnati Stingers. Just 24 seconds into the game, Beaton, along with teammates Gilles (Bad News) Bilodeau and Steve Durbano ignited an hour-long brawl that resulted in over 200 penalty minutes and left bleeding Stingers all over the ice.

    The fracas prompted a reporter for the Cincinnati Equirer to write: "It was like watching the German army invading Poland ... absolute carnage everywhere you looked. And everywhere you looked, you saw Frank Beaton."

    ---

    minir

  2. #2
    Elite Member TonyT's Avatar
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    Having grown up in Penna I am partial to Dave Schultz. Prior to his appearance on Broad Street, hockey was a rarely viewed tv sport (in US) and his actions served to popularize the sport in mainstream America. At first, the "new hockey" was akin to pro wrestling, attracting the "less than literate" crowd and bar room sports junkies. For a few years the purpose of the game seems to have been "a fight on ice" rather than the games real purposes. But good PR by the league & media put things back in check & the game became more popular than ever. IMHO The Hammer & the Flyers marketing execs were the ones who made hockey a real US sport (in the eyes of the public).

    Of course there were some flubs..remember those radio chips the networks put inside the pucks so when the tv cameras followed the puck the viewer saw a colored streak on the tv screen! As we sat around and got stoned and watched hockey on tv, we were unsure as to what was really making those red lines on the tv screen! For the occasional guests of our smoke filled evenings who were unaware of the radiop chips, well, lets just say that those red streaks aided our ability to move the product!
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  3. #3
    Scallywag minir's Avatar
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    Hi TonyT


    I do believe Fox Network spent a few hundred thousand developing and promoting those pucks.

    We Canadians couldn't believe them when first shown. They were the brunt of many a joke. Thankfully they died a none to soon death.

    Fred Shero built the Broadstreet Bullies of which the Hammer was an integral part.

    He was without question a tough dude at one point and racked up a ton of fighting majors as did the whole of the team back then.

    I grant you he was good, but i do think Brown was a bit tougher imho and i'd reverse their two positions, but can accept them as they are as its a subjective thing.


    Coach Shero by the way a former boxer and hockey player instilled many an innovation into the Game and one quote that comes to mind set the tenor for the Team.

    "Take the shortest route to the puck carrier, and arrive in ill humor."
    He was quite a Guy and certainly drew an audience with his tactics. It was widely know that many a Team and Player hated the thoughts of facing the Flyers, particularly at home and word spread about the "Philadelphia Flu"

    A lot of Players it seems developed the flu whenever there was a game in Philly as they simply didn't want to have to face the Bullies and Schultz.

    Thanks TonyT for the memories.

    --

    regards

    minir

  4. #4
    In a few short years you'll be able to add Derek Boogaard to that list.....That dude is 6'7 and has fists of fury.


    I'll watch Wild games just hoping he gets into a fight.....he just punishes people

  5. #5
    Scallywag minir's Avatar
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    Hi Izzo


    He's gaining a reputation, but unfortunately we seldom see the Wild here.

    Different game now though as back then fighting was an every game event and some pretty tough guys roamed the rinks.

    Thanks Izzo

    --

    regards

    minir

  6. #6
    SCSI Dude Faust's Avatar
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    Stu Grimson

    i mean, how many other enforcers have in at least one instance beaten up their own teammates in practice? truely a terror.
    "Today is a black day in the history of mankind."

    - Leo Szilard

  7. #7
    Scallywag minir's Avatar
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    Hi Faust

    That he was and a pretty intelligent Fella as well. Saw him in an interview a couple or 3 weeks ago on old timers. Well spoken.

    --

    regards

    minir

  8. #8
    Elite Member TonyT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by minir View Post
    Different game now though as back then fighting was an every game event and some pretty tough guys roamed the rinks.
    minir
    Yes it is, I believe it's a better game now too. The fighting was so intense and expected that for several years the players & fans lost sight of what the game is all about anyway. Hell, because of that and the weed, it took me 3 years to figure out what "icing" was! Who cared about icing, we just wanted to see the Friday night fights.
    No one has any right to force data on you
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    If it is not true for you, it isn't true.

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  9. #9
    Scallywag minir's Avatar
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    Hi TonyT

    Fighting is slowly being taken out of the Game and when that happens the Fans will leave the game imho.

    Its part of the game and it needs to stay to control the dirty play and also to get some momentum when needed. Nothing like a good scrap to lift a Team.

    My Mom lives for a good dust up. Me too

    --

    regards

    minir

  10. #10
    Second Most EVIL YARDofSTUF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faust View Post
    Stu Grimson

    i mean, how many other enforcers have in at least one instance beaten up their own teammates in practice? truely a terror.
    Hell ya, he wasnt around for his goal scoring ability

  11. #11

    Face It

    Haha, Derek Boogaard would destroy anyone on this list, except perhaps for Gordie Howe, and that's only because I saw Rocky beat Ivan Drago so anything is possible

  12. #12
    Miami Dolphins Fan DIDS's Avatar
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    Vladimir Konstantinov was a very tough guy.

  13. #13
    You guys are horrible i literally made an account just to post this.....Joseph "Joey" Kocur (Born December 21, 1964 in Kelvington, Saskatchewan, Canada) was the best fighter ever to enter the nhl, nobody to this day is better then him at fighting on skates he rarely lost if ever and had the hardest punch ever in the nhl those who dont know him please youtube him or something he cracked donald brashears helmet in a fight way back in the 90's and brashear admitted to being scared shitless and who ever said add boogard to there list needs to watch hockey that guy sucks he has been beat many times good guy though and big but not the best tony twist was really good but he was a steroid user but joey kocur kids joey kocur

  14. #14
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kocuristhebest View Post
    You guys are horrible i literally made an account just to post this.....Joseph "Joey" Kocur
    It wasn't Minirs opinion...it was a quote from an article by sportswriter MURRAY GREIG
    Here are some more books by him, showing he knew a bit about boxing and hockey up north.
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/se...Murray%20Greig

    Thread is from 2007 also....what Google search brought up this one thread?
    http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/GRAMMAR/marks/period.htm
    MORNING WOOD Lumber Company
    Guinness for Strength!!!

  15. #15
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    I'm ok with most on this list, but not with Dave Schultz and no Terry O'Reilly. O'Reilly routinely beat Schultz, even though he was smaller and lighter. Take a look at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofgE7DXvvWo and you can search up others on Youtube. Schultz was an oversized, fat bum.

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