Want to polarize a room quickly?
Get a group of hockey fans together and ask them their thoughts on the art of the goon.
For as long as there have been pristine 200-foot sheets of ice, there have been players who’ve occupied spots on rosters primarily based on an ability to set a physical tone—or enforce their version of justice—on the opposition.
Some despise the practice. Others consider it an integral part of the game. Either way, there’s little doubt that an old-fashioned drop-the-gloves scrap is a go-to catalyst for a spike in crowd noise at any NHL arena.
We’ve assembled a list of the top NHL goons of all time, along with a sidecar list of those who nearly made the cut, but wound up as also-rans. Click through to see which of your picks jibe with ours.