Donald Brashear and 10 NHL Players That Could Make the Jump to MMA
With the NHL final in full swing, fighting has definitely taken a back seat to great hockey, which is always a good thing. However, they are no shortage of tough guys in the league waiting for next year to start so they can bust some skulls.
Fighting has been commonplace in the NHL for so long that it is essentially part of the game, for better or worse. There seems to be a fine line between being a cheap shot artist and a "respected" enforcer but, in the battle for a roster spot, all is fair in love and war.
The whole fighting controversy always got me wondering: Which NHL players could make the jump to MMA and not get destroyed?
Fighting on skates and fighting in a cage are two very different things but some NHLers actually seem like they could make the transition and at least be marginally successful.
Also, please do not take this list as an absolute truth. No one has any idea how any of these guys would do in the world of MMA, so there's really no need to argue and fight about it.
#10: Jody Shelley
While Shelley is certainly nearing the end of his NHL career, the man is still a force to be reckoned with when we drops the gloves.
At 6'3 and 230 lbs., Shelley is an intimidating physical force with a lot of power behind his punches and he's not afraid to drop the gloves with anyone, including fighting legend Bob Probert.
Shelley also holds the Quebec Junior record for most penalty minutes in a season (420) and the AHL single season record as well.
#9: Colton Orr
If you've watched the videos in this slideshow, you've seen Colton Orr make an appearance or two and there's good reason for that: The man fights anytime, anywhere.
Orr's reputation as a fighter has really grown quickly, helped along by the fact that his junior's coach said he had one of the best right hands he's ever seen.
According to hockeyfights.com, he fought 13 times last season and won a good bit of them. Orr does not shy away from anyone in the league and has shown a mean streak that could only help him in MMA competition.
#8: Steve MacIntyre
A lesser known name on the list, Steve MacIntyre has been a physical force wherever he has played. He led the Continental Elite Hockey League in penalty minutes in 2001 and actually received a lifetime ban because of a huge brawl with the Detroit Lightning.
In his first NHL game against the Calgary Flames, "Big Mac" picked up 7 penalty minutes and never looked back.
He's one of the biggest guys on this list, standing 6'5 and weighing more than 250 lbs., which would certainly make him a tough man to deal with in MMA.
McIntyre has also shown that his short right hands are accurate and extremely effective, something could only aid him if he ever decides to switch to a mixed martial arts career.
#7: Zdeno Chara
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While the Bruins certainly do not want their captain fighting, it's almost scary to think what Big Z could accomplish if he snapped one day.
Chara is the largest player in the NHL and opposing players always comment on how difficult it is to deal with him because of his size. If he were trained properly, think of the damage that a 6'9, 260 lbs. monster could do in an enclosed area.
Just look at that picture and see how big Chara actually is. Would you want him coming at you, pissed off and trying to knock you out?
#6: Dan Carcillo
Carcillo is one of those guys who you absolutely hate to play against if you are an opposing player. Matt Bradley obviously found that out the hard way when Carcillo decided to turn a shoving match into a Mike Tyson reenactment.
He led the league in penalty minutes in 2007-2008 and has shown a habit of fighting anyone at any time, sometimes to the detriment of his team.
However, that mean streak would serve Carcillo well if he Flyers ever sent him packing and he turned to fighting as a career. He's under 6' tall but fears no one and that's never a bad quality for a fighter to have.
#5: Paul Bissonnette
Twitter darling Paul Bissonnette likes to make jokes about how him and the bench are very good friends.
He is also very good friends with the penalty box, considering he spends the majority of his career there when he is playing.
Biz Nasty has never met a fight he hasn't liked and always protects his teammates from cheap shots and late hits.
However, Bissonnette has one other thing going for him that some other players don't: Personality.
As fighters like Rampage Jackson and Tito Ortiz have proven, having a personality is important to selling your fights. If people are interested in what you are saying, they are interested in seeing you fight. Anyone who follows Biz Nasty on Twitter knows he's one of the most entertaining athletes out there.
Plus, anyone who beats the ever-loving crap out of that goon Trevor Gillies is a-OK with me.
#4- B.J. Crombeen
A lesser known name thanks to his St. Louis address, Crombeen is one of the most successful fighters in the league today.
According to hockeyfights.com, Crombeen has not been defeated in a fight twice since he came into the league in October 2010.
Not only that but he's also raised his number of fights each season, taking on all comers and gaining more confidence in throwing punches.
While I cannot guarantee his success would translate to the world of MMA, it's never a bad idea to bet on the guy who rarely loses.
#3: Deryk Engelland
A relatively new addition to the tough guy list, Engelland was called up by the Penguins due to injuries and he stepped into the enforcer role almost immediately.
With his one-punch knock out of noted fighter Colton Orr, Engelland established himself as a respected fighter and someone who would not back down from a challenge.
Adding to his credibility, former NHL enforcer Jim Thomson told TSN's Off the Record that Engelland was the best fighter in the league, calling him the NHL's hardest puncher.
Now I'm no expert but when someone says you punch harder than anyone else in the league, I'd say you have a good chance in any fight.
#2: Donald Brashear
Yes, I know, Brashear isn't currently in the NHL but it's only a matter of time before a team bites the bullet and signs him. As long as the NHL permits goonish behavior, people like Donald Brashear are going to have a place on rosters.
Brashear is one of the most feared enforcers to ever play hockey and for good reason. He's not afraid of anyone and his punches always seem to land and cause damage. At 6'3, 240 lbs., Brashear is a large man who can deal out large amounts of pain in a short period of time.
Currently playing in the LNAH, Brashear was recently suspended for attacking the goalie of another team, earning himself a 5 game suspension and the ire of the league office.
Of course, that's just Brashear's job. When you sign Donald Brashear, you're not expecting 30 goals and 40 assists, you're expecting mayhem and pain.
The exact same things that would help him in an MMA fight.
#1: George Parros
Aside from rocking one of the best mustaches in NHL history, Parros is also one of the most feared enforcers in the game today.
In his debut game against the Dallas Stars, Parros achieved the infamous "Gordie Howe hat trick" for posting a goal, an assist and a fight in the same game.
Parros fought an amazing 27 times during the 2010-11 season, beating up guys like Paul Bissonnette, Colton Orr and Derek Engelland.
Parros also stands an imposing 6'5, making him only second to Chara in height/reach but Parros has a penchant for fighting that Big Z might never have.
Parros will drop the gloves with anyone in the league and always seems to be the aggressor in the bout. If George and his mustache ever decide to give MMA a try, he just might be a force to be reckoned with.