Toe-to-Toe: 15 Must-Watch NHL Fights

Steve FusinatoContributor IOctober 24, 2010

Toe-to-Toe: 15 Must-Watch NHL Fights

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    It's no secret that the National Hockey League has produced some exciting moments over the years. The professional league with the most difficult piece of silverware to acquire—the Stanley Cup.

    Sometimes on the road to the championship, one must use intimidation to prevail. 

    This is where these warriors of the frozen pond come into play. Broken hands, bloody jerseys and a lot of Kung Fu fighting. We could debate if fighting has its place in the NHL all day, evaluate the pros and cons and consider the nefarious effects this might have on the players involved.

    Or we could just sit back, crack open a cold one and enjoy 15 of the NHL's must-watch fights. 

    Pictured to the left is legendary enforcer Bob Probert who passed away in July. He's been in some of the fiercest battles in history. Although he's only featured twice in this slideshow, we strongly suggest you use your favorite search engine to look him up. Trust us, you won't be disappointed.

    This is not a "Top 15" list, it's simply a collection of fights that would have had you out of your seats if you were in attendance. Every single pugilist featured here would give you a run for your money on the ice. Standing toe-to-toe until one of you falls. An homage to old-time hockey.

    Are you ready? Are you ready?

    Let's get it on! 

Jesse Boulerice vs. Aaron Downey

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    Tale of the Tape

    Aaron Downey: 6'1", 216 lbs

    Jesse Boulerice: 6'2", 215 lbs

    Let's start this one off with a bang, ladies and gentleman. A very even fight in terms of size, height and reach. 

    Keeping your hands up and not exposing your chin is of vital importance in any fight. As you'll see in the video, one of them hasn't really grasped that principle.

    Ouch.



Sandy McCarthy vs. Chris Simon

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    Tale of the Tape

    Sandy McCarthy: 6'3", 225 lbs

    Chris Simon: 6'3", 235 lbs

    Machine gun punches: A term that you'll hear the commentator use in this one and you'll see in many of the other videos. 

    Chris Simon was always a game opponent for anyone on the ice. We hear he's still tearing it up as the captain of Vityaz Chekhov in the KHL. 

Derek Boogard vs. Georges Laraque

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    Tale of the Tape

    Georges Laraque: 6'3", 273 lbs

    Derek Boogard: 6'7", 275 lbs

    A battle of epic proportions, literally. Laraque and Boogard have faced off many times and this is just a tiny sample of the fireworks they produced over the years. 

    At a combined weight of 550lbs, when those two fall, Tokyo thinks Godzilla is attacking them yet again. Notice how Laraque does an amazing job at keeping his balance.

    Say what you want about his technique, but still standing while being pushed around by a beast is definitely an achievement.

Stu Grimson vs. Marty McSorley

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    Tale of the Tape

    Marty McSorley: 6'1", 235 lbs

    Stu Grimson: 6'6", 240 lbs

    To quote the commentator, ''Now they stand toe-to-toe and slug it out" and "they're each jackhammering away."

    Jackhammering—that must be one of the most amazing words in the English language. Even though Grimson is five inches taller, McSorley still gives him quite the run.

    Notice how Grimson almost cracks the linesman at the 0:48 mark. That would've required some Advil and Jack Daniels Old No. 7 afterwards. Close call.

Tie Domi vs. Rob Ray

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    Tale of the Tape

    Tie Domi: 5'10", 213 lbs

    Rob Ray: 6'0", 222 lbs

    These two have squared off on many occasions and every battle is as impressive as the next. 

    This is one of their earlier NHL encounters when Domi was playing for the now defunct Winnipeg Jets. How can you not smile when you see that jersey?

    "And the fists are flying!"

Stan Jonathan vs. Pierre Bouchard

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    Tale of the Tape

    Stan Jonathan: 5'8", 175 lbs

    Pierre Bouchard: 6'2", 205 lbs

    Even though Pierre, son of legendary Canadiens Butch Bouchard, outweighs Stan Jonathan by 20 lbs, this one is a no contest.

    What Jonathan lacked in size, he made up for in grit and was one of the main reasons the Canadiens and Bruins had so many blood fests in the 70s.

    A clear knockout by the Mohawk Native Canadian. 

Mark Tinordi vs. Jason Smith

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    Tale of the Tape

    Mark Tinordi: 6'4", 213 lbs

    Jason Smith: 6'3", 215 lbs

    Probably one of the best fights you'll ever see. Mark Tinordi steps in to fight Jason Smith with a broken nose. The first are flying in this one!

    "That's going on Rock Em' Sock Em' 1400 or whatever they're up to now."

Bob Probert vs. Wendel Clark

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    Tale of the Tape

    Bob Probert: 6'3", 225 lbs

    Wendel Clark: 5'11", 200 lbs

    Two of the toughest men to ever step skate on the ice. They've also been in many feuds and as you can see from this video, it seems like the two gentlemen genuinely disliked each other. 

    A good old-fashioned, original six-scrapper in this one folks.

John Kordic vs. Jay Miller

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    Tale Of The Tape

    John Kordic: 6'2", 210 lbs

    Jay Miller: 6'2", 210 lbs

    The late John Kordic was controversial on and off the ice, but that man could scrap. A classic fight with some pretty awesome 80s music to go along with it. 

Terry O'Reilly vs. Dave ''Tiger'' Williams

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    Tale of the Tape

    Dave Williams: 5'11", 190 lbs

    Terry O'Reilly: 6'1", 200 lbs

    Two of the most legendary enforcers in NHL history. We could have made a top 10 with these two alone. You gotta love the intensity in this short but very entertaining fight

    Notice how O'Reilly keeps pummeling Williams even as he hits the ice. That's some frozen MMA action if you ask me folks!

Stephen Peat vs. PJ Stock

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    Tale of the Tape

    PJ Stock: 5'10", 190 lbs

    Stephen Peat: 6'2", 235 lbs

    The actual fight starts at the 1:29 mark. As hockey's version of David and Goliath, this one is visual proof that size doesn't matter..well, in a fight at least. 

    Peat outweighs Stock by 45 pounds and is getting taken to school with lefts and rights. If he wasn't considering boxing lessons before squaring off with PJ, he probably signed up for some after the game.

    "The best NHL fight we've seen in a long time."

Dave Schultz vs. Wayne Cashman

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    Tale of the Tape

    Dave Schultz: 6'1", 185 lbs

    Wayne Cashman: 6'1", 180 lbs

    You had to see this one coming folks. Dave "The Hammer" Schultz and the Philadelphia Flyers revolutionized NHL hockey in the 70s as they earned the moniker, "The Broadstreet Bullies." 

    The Hammer lets the fisticuffs fly in this tussle with Wayne Cashman. A tribute to one of his many encounters with Bruins enforcers.

Shawn Thornton vs. Riley Cote

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    Tale of the Tape

    Shawn Thornton: 6'2", 217 lbs

    Riley Cote: 6'2", 220 lbs

    Another great Bruins vs. Flyers legendary fight. Thornton and Cote give the crowd a good show and teach us all how to take a punch.

Wendel Clark vs. Marty McSorley

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    Tale of the Tape

    Wendel Clark: 5'11", 200 lbs

    Marty McSorley: 6'1", 235 lbs

    Anyone that has witnessed playoff hockey knows that the intensity in those games is always turned up a notch.

    Some 1993 playoffs nostalgia in this one people. What a fight!

Bob Probert vs. Craig Coxe

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    Tale of the Tape

    Bob Probert: 6'3", 225 lbs

    Craig Coxe: 6'4", 220 lbs

    Rest in peace, Bob. Thanks for all the great fights.

    Enjoy this one, guys. It doesn't get any better than this!