NHL: The Best Big Men in History...and the Fights to Prove It
Courtesy of Todd Korol
Zdeno Chara proved his toughness and helped his team to a Stanley Cup championship this year.
His physicality can be matched by few, but there are several others in NHL history who have earned the names "big man" and "enforcer."
The Hanson brothers may be tough in the movies, but they haven't met these guys.
These are a few other big guys that I'd never want to anger.
To give you an idea of Zdeno Chara's physicality, the captain of the Stanley Cup champions logged 88 minutes in penalties this past season.
At 6'9" and roughly 260 pounds, Chara is one of those guys you'd probably want to avoid in a fight.
Mr. Hockey himself, Gordie Howe played in the NHL in five different decades.
While Howe wasn’t as huge as the other big men discussed in this slideshow, he was a leader and willing to get rough when necessary. In 1959 he ended up with a dislocated shoulder and broken ribs after winning a fight against Lou Fontinato.
Howe broke Fontinato's nose in multiple places and was mentioned as the new heavyweight of hockey.
Scott Stevens was a defenseman who wasn't afraid to check people on the ice.
He was well known for his body checking and hits and holds the record for most career penalty minutes out of anyone in the Hall of Fame.
Tie Domi, a recently retired enforcer, spent his last 11 seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs and played more than 1,000 games in the NHL.
One of his most notable incidents was during the 2000-01 season when he sprayed his water bottle from the penalty box at a heckler. Domi then pinned and punched another fan who’d climbed over the glass and fell into the box.
No charges were given for the physical altercation—only for spraying the first fan.
Tie Domi was a beast, but Bob Probert was able to show him up.
Probert was one-half of the "Bruise Brothers," the other being Joey Kocur.
Probert had some off-ice issues, but on the ice he absolutely dominated.
Dave Brown was an enforcer who spent the majority of his career with the Philadelphia Flyers.
I had a hard time selecting which video I wanted to include—there were just too many clips with Brown beating the crap out of everyone.
Concerns about Georges Laraque's skating skill didn't minimize his fighting ability on the ice.
Laraque was mainly known as an enforcer and was given the "Best Fighter" award by The Hockey News in 2003. Five years later, Sports Illustrated declared him the No. 1 enforcer.
I'm going to name Joey Kocur the best of all these guys.
Kocur got in a fight with the other half of the Bruise Brothers, Bob Probert, during a game. While Probert was probably a better all-around fighter, Kocur was the one you'd have to worry about more when it came to serious injury.