The 25 Best Goal-Scorer/Fighter Dual Threats in NHL History
Now that Jarome Iginla had reached the 500-goal mark, the hockey world can exhale and be happy for Calgary's superstar. But it also raises an interesting question: is he the greatest player in NHL history that would handle his own fights and also score a lot of goals?
There have certainly been a lot of players in the league's history that have scored a few goals in the league, and even more that have fought. But not many have done both effectively.
Here's a look at the top 25 dual threats in NHL history.
Yes, the now-head coach of the Washington Capitals is best remembered for how he accumulated 3,565 penalty minutes in 1,407 games. But many fans fail to remember that Hunter also had a stretch early in his career in which he scored at least 20 goals in nine of 12 seasons.
Between the Flames and North Stars in the late 1970s and early 1980s (and one season in Boston), Plett had a nice stretch of six seasons in seven in which he scored at least 20 goals. He finished his relatively brief career with 222 goals and 2,572 penalty minutes in just 834 games.
Not only did Roenick beat up Wayne Gretzky (albeit as a video game character in the movie Swingers), but he threw down with a lot of opponents as an aggressive forward in his career. He's best remembered for his 513 goals, but he never got cheated when an opponent wanted to dance.
"Walt" had a brilliant career, scoring at least 30 goals in eight different seasons. But he also had no fear of throwing down when it was needed; in four of his 30-goal seasons, he also had at least 150 penalty minutes. He finished his career with 2,219 penalty minutes and 538 goals.
Mike, father of current NHL player Nick, scored 355 goals and piled up 2,049 penalty minutes in a really nice career. Between 1985-86 and 86-87, he totaled 71 goals and 344 penalty minutes in only 149 games.
He may have fought as many demons in his personal life as he did opponents, but not many small players brought it every night the way Fleury did. In spite of his off-ice issues, he was still an electrifying scorer who put up 455 goals and 1,840 penalty minutes in his career.
Vaive was a dynamic player who, unfortunately, missed too many games in his career because of physical play. He still piled up 441 goals with his 1,445 penalty minutes, and was at his best in his rare postseason opportunities. In the playoffs, he had 27 goals and 111 penalty minutes in only 54 games.
Roberts scored 438 goals in his long career, including 52 game-winners. But he also spent plenty of time in the penalty box; he had more than 200 penalty minutes in each of his first five full NHL seasons.
Everyone easily remembers the big penalty minute totals from his long career that ended with 1,777 minutes in the box. But Lemieux also scored when needed, totaling 379 goals in 1,215 games.
Coffey is another Hall of Famer who backed up his scoring by fighting when needed. He accumulated 1,802 career penalty minutes, including seven seasons with over 100, and also scored 296 goals. He was also a point-per-game player in the playoffs, posting 196 points and 264 penalty minutes in 194 games.
O'Reilly is one of the most loved Boston Bruins of all time because of his willingness to drop the mitts. In 12 of his 13 full NHL seasons, he was over 100 penalty minutes, and he also scored 204 goals—32 of which were game-winners—in his 891-game career.
Paiement certainly isn't the household name that some others are on this list, but he has a solid career from the mid-1970s to the late-1980s. In 946 games, he scored 356 goals, including two seasons with at least 40 goals, while also piling up 1,757 penalty minutes.
Dave "Tiger" Williams
During the 1980-81 season for which he is "honored" on this card, Williams had 343 penalty minutes and 35 goals. Not only is he one of the all-time fighters in the game's history, but he also is credited with one of the all-time best goal celebrations.
His career wasn't as long as some on this list, but he certainly got his money's worth. Between 1978-79 and 1984-85 (seven seasons), Sutter scored less than 32 goals only once and had more than 150 penalty minutes only once. He was a dynamic forward who hit opponents and the back of the net often.
His willingness to mix it up ultimately led to a well-documented concussion history, but Lindros was one of the premier big men of all time when he was in his prime. Unfortunately, he only played in more than 73 games once in his career while piling up 372 goals and 1,398 penalty minutes.
Mikita was a penalty minute machine early in his career and never had a problem stepping up to a fight during his long Hall of Fame career. As he tells the story, he changed his ways and took fewer trips to the box after his young daughter asked his wife why her daddy was sitting by himself so often. He ended up with 541 goals and 1,270 penalty minutes in his career.
In his first two NHL seasons in Toronto, Clark set the bar high with 498 penalty minutes and 71 goals. But he continued to show the same tenacity throughout his long career, scoring 330 goals and serving 1,690 penalty minutes.
Everyone knows Probert was one of the all-time legendary enforcers in the history of the game. But many fans forget that he actually had some of the better hands of any big-time fighter ever as well.
Consider his 1987-88 season. He had 29 goals, 15 of which were on the power play, in only 74 games. He also piled up 398 penalty minutes that year.
Probert had four seasons with 230-plus penalty minutes and 15-plus goals.
Tocchet had four seasons with over 200 penalty minutes and seven with at least 25 goals. In his long career, he racked up 440 goals and 2,972 penalty minutes as a guy that would shut up his opponents with his fists and by scoring a game-winning goal.
Not many people would fight "Sea Bass" in his retirement. He was a lethal power forward during his days in Boston, scoring at least 30 goals in a season six times and hitting the 50-goal mark in three seasons. He piled up 1,241 penalty minutes and 395 goals in a 726-game Hall of Fame career.
"The Little Ball of Hate" was always ready to throw down, piling up over 100 penalty minutes in 13 different seasons. But he also had no problem putting the puck in the net, scoring 522 goals to go with his 2,905 career penalty minutes. Verbeek had the highest career penalty minute total of anyone with 500 goals.
Iginla obviously just reached the 500 goal plateau, putting him in some of the most exclusive company in the history of the game. But he's also one of the toughest captains in the league today, and has no problem dropping the gloves and wrecking someone that tries to make a dumb play or take advantage of another Flames player.
Secord was a dynamic mix of lethal scoring ability and willingness to drop the gloves during his time in Boston, Chicago and Toronto. He had three seasons with 40 goals and at least 180 penalty minutes, including a 54-goal, 180 PIM season in 1982-83 on the heels of a ridiculous 44-goal, 303 penalty minute campaign in 1981-82.
Yes, Mr. Shanahan himself makes the list.
For a guy that's now in charge of policing the game, he certainly did that as a player. In 16 of his first 17 seasons, he passed 100 penalty minutes, and he racked up 2,489 total penalty minutes in his career. He was a no-nonsense player who held his own with the heavyweights of his era. He also happened to score 656 goals in his Hall of Fame career.
Between the 1989-90 and 1993-94 seasons, Stevens was an absolute beast. He had an incredible 219 goals and 890 penalty minutes in only 391 games. Sure, he benefited from playing on some of the loaded Pittsburgh teams of that era, but he still had to finish the job around the net and he did that.