The Worst Fighter on Each NHL Team
Now that the movie Goon has hit theaters (it's great, by the way), it's fun to look around the NHL at fighters.
Some of the better fighters are pretty obvious. Nobody wants to go at it with John Scott, Matt Cooke or any number of the Boston Bruins.
But here's a look at the worst fighter on every roster.
The least likely to fight on the Ducks has to be Teemu Selanne, not because he wouldn't, but because he's too respected by his peers.
The worst fighter on the physical Ducks team is going to be Andrew Cogliano. He's one of the smaller guys on their roster and rarely (if ever) drops the mitts very well.
The Bruins are one of the toughest teams in the league, and you have to respect that almost any guy on their roster would be willing to go at any time.
But when Tim Thomas chased Carey Price around the ice to fight and then was treated like a little brother by the significantly bigger Price, it became clear that Thomas' political decisions are as effective as his fighting technique.
With all due respect to Nathan Gerbe, he's generously listed at 5'5" and 178 pounds. There aren't many high school players that are an appropriate size to fight Gerbe.
Mike Cammalleri really only has one notable fight on his record (against Boston's David Krejci), one that he left bloody but at least broke even in. But because of the role he's usually asked to play on the Flames, he rarely fights.
He's small, young and has dealt with concussion issues already in his young career. Based on what he means to the 'Canes, he likely won't drop the gloves much/ever again in his career.
I'm sure listing Patrick Kane here will warrant the obligatory cab driver response from someone whose sense of humor is stuck somewhere three years ago, but the reality is that Kane is an undersized superstar who the Blackhawks pay players to protect.
Peter Mueller makes the list from Colorado because, frankly, he's got too much at risk to drop the gloves. After going through a terrible couple years dealing with concussion problems, Mueller isn't likely to fight any time soon.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we have a Brett Lebda sighting. Which is more than the Jackets can say on the ice these days, which is why he makes the list. If Lebda was ever healthy enough to actually play in a game, he would probably find a way to get hurt before ever getting to the point that a fight would happen.
But as long as the checks keep clearing, he'll keep showing up in the players' suite on game nights.
After watching the beginnings of his career in Chicago, I respect Jake Dowell's willingness to fight anyone. But he isn't very big, and he rarely lands many quality punches. So while he gets a plus for having the stones to go, his ability doesn't always back up his willingness.
Detroit Red Wings
For all we know, this is what would happen if someone really wanted to fight Pavel Datsyuk.
Cam Barker was once drafted third overall and is listed at 6'3" and over 220 pounds, but the only thing he's effectively done as a hockey player the last few years is disappoint people. He's a waste of size and clearly doesn't know how to throw a punch.
Brian Campbell can play a physical brand of hockey, but appropriately prefers to use his incredible skating ability to open up the ice. He isn't usually the guy on the roster who drops the mitts when needed.
Los Angeles Kings
Jeff Carter is the newest member of the Kings, and he isn't a guy who has ever distinguished himself as a fighter. It's been over a year since his last fight, when Jesse Winchester smacked him around pretty easily.
Guillaume Latendresse has the size to actually be a pretty good fighter. The problem, though, is that he has recurring concussion problems and would probably hope for someone else to handle his business.
As a captain, Brian Gionta has never backed away from an altercation. But at only 5'7" and 174 pounds, it's hard to find an appropriate matchup for Gionta in a fight.
It's hard to pick someone in Nashville, a team where the smallest player on the roster handles his business pretty well (Jordin Tootoo).
Francis Bouillon isn't a very big guy and rarely fights, so we'll go with him.
New Jersey Devils
Marek Zidlicky is a rare player who can say he got his butt kicked by Sidney Crosby. It's been a couple years since he last dropped the gloves, and it's probably better that way.
New York Islanders
On a roster that has some pretty good fighters, Michael Grabner is probably the least likely on the team to go at it.
New York Rangers
On a team that's loaded with good size and plenty of guys that are willing to fight, Henrik Lundqvist is the least likely to fight.
And his face is a national treasure in three countries, so fighting him might actually be illegal.
If only Kyle Turris could have his agent handle fights on the ice like he did getting him out of Phoenix.
Looking up and down the Flyers' roster, almost every player can handle his business. So we'll pick Danny Briere as the worst—not because he's awful, but because he's the worst on their roster.
The worst fighter in the NHL right now is the City of Glendale, who continues to fight to keep the Coyotes in spite of awful attendance and a lack of suitable owners. Their taxpayers shouldn't have to continue paying for a team they won't buy tickets to support, and players like Shane Doan deserve better.
With his luck, Jordan Staal would think about fighting and somehow miss two weeks. He's had a rough go with injuries the last few years, so he should stay away from fighting.
San Jose Sharks
One of my college football coaches used to say, "Be the hammer, not the nail." Martin Havlat never received that advice.
St. Louis Blues
At 37 years old and listed at only 5'9" and 180 pounds, Scott Nichol should probably take a serious moment to think about life after hockey before thinking about getting into a fight any time soon.
Tampa Bay Lightning
At this point in the year, it's almost too easy to pile on with Dwayne Roloson. But if he could avoid punches as well as he's avoided pucks this year, he might actually have a future in the ring...
Toronto Maple Leafs
Ron Wilson should be fighting to keep his job right now, but it isn't going very well for him or the Leafs.
Daniel Sedin has no problem picking a fight, but he rarely actually handles his business. His cheap shots usually end up with Kevin Bieksa actually fighting.
Players that usually fight in the NHL do so because they're emotionally invested in the contest at hand and are either doing so to spark a rally or defend a teammate they care about.
Alex Semin has rarely been accused of caring enough, or at all. So he fails to meet the emotional criteria to be a likely fighter.
The worst fighter on the Jets is not Evander Kane, but those in the hockey fanbase that think Matt Cooke is (was) a cheapshot artist can't get enough of this video.