Philadelphia Flyers: Ranking the Top 10 Fighters in Franchise History
From the Broad Street Bullies of the 1970's to the 1980's teams consisting of tough players such as Behn Wilson and Dave Brown, the Flyers have always been tough.
The 1990's Legion of Doom was backed by a number of enforcers, and in 2004 the franchise set an NHL record by totaling 419 penalty minutes in a game with the Ottawa Senators.
In their most-recent Stanley Cup run, the team was the toughest in the league. Now the franchise will bring toughness onto the ice with one of the NHL's top fighters, Jody Shelley, leading the way.
Shelley will be accompanied by power-forwards Wayne Simmonds and Scott Hartnell. Shelley may also have a gritty AHL player such as Zac Rinaldo or Tom Sestito as a linemate.
In one way or another, this team will always be tough.
A number of great fighters have dawned the orange and black.
No. 10: Mel Bridgman
Bridgman joined the Broad Street Bullies as a rookie in 1975 after the team had won two consecutive Stanley Cups and established itself as hockey's toughest team.
Bridgman averaged 50+ points per season and fought more than 10 times each season, becoming known as one of the NHL's best fighters at the time.
No. 9: Rick Tocchet
The embodiment of an entire franchise, Rick Tocchet played hard for the Philadelphia Flyers.
Not only could the captain score, he could fight. He is one of just four players in NHL history to record more than 60 points and 300 penalty minutes in the same season (1987-88).
Tocchet won fights against Tiger Williams, Dale Hunter, and Cam Neely during his career.
No. 8: Todd Fedoruk
"The Fridge" may have gone downhill very fast in one terrible 2006-07 season, but he was a very good fighter for the Flyers before then.
From 2000 to 2004, Fedoruk beat Eric Godard, Shawn Thornton, Wade Belak, Matt Johnson, Rob Ray, Krzysztof Oliwa, Kip Brennan, and Matt Barnaby,
No. 7: Glen Cochrane
Cochrane played parts of seven seasons with Philadelphia in the early-1980s, averaging nearly four penalty minutes in each game played.
In split time in the AHL and NHL in the 1980-1981 season, Cochrane totaled 420 penalty minutes in 69 games. The next season he totaled 329 penalty minutes in 63 NHL games.
HockeyFights.com lists Cochrane as the second-best fighter from the 1983-1984 season.
No. 6: Dan Kordic
Kordic played all 197 of his career NHL games with the Philadelphia Flyers.
Though he does not have a wide array of impressive wins, Kordic was able to hang with some of the NHL's best fighters. He fought evenly against Donald Brashear, Stu Grimson, Rob Ray, Craig Berube and Ryan VandenBussche.
Kordic has beaten Paul Laus and Eric Cairns. In this video he drops 6' 4" 225-pound Brantt Myhres
No. 5: Craig Berube
Now an assistant coach for the Flyers, Berube was a great fighter for the team during two separate tenures.
He has victories against Bob Probert, Basil McRae, and in the 1990-1991 season he gave this beating to the young Tie Domi
No. 4: Dave Schultz
"The Hammer" is the most famous Flyers' fighter of all-time, but he is not the best.
Schultz was the first of many Flyers enforcers. When he arrived, it was the end of Philadelphia being pushed around.
If anyone tried taking a cheap shot at a skilled player such as Bobby Clarke, the entire team would be after him, with Schultz leading the charge.
No. 3: Donald Brashear
As the careers of Bob Probert, Tony Twist and Stu Grimson began to reach their ends, both Donald Brashear and Georges Laraque broke onto the NHL scene with aims to take over as the league's top fighter.
Brashear established himself as just that by winning fights against Tie Domi, Rob Ray, Marty McSorley, Dennis Bonvie, Probert and Laraque while with the Vancouver Canucks.
The Flyers acquired Brashear during the 2001-2002 season, adding to an enforcer collection already featuring Todd Fedoruk and the 6' 7" 240-pound Chris McAllister.
In 64 fights for the Flyers, Brashear lost just five times.
No. 2: Behn Wilson
What Dave Schultz and the Philadelphia Flyers started in the 1970's was a revolution that changed the way hockey viewed toughness.
Before, fights were a rarity that occurred usually when players had a very good reason to. The Broad Street Bullies made rough play, fighting and intimidation a part of their game plan.
The rest of the NHL responded by finding players who could fight back.
As a result, the fights-per-game total in the NHL rose nearly every season from Schultz' arrival in 1972 (0.44) until the league's all-time high in 1987-88. By that year, there were an average of 1.3 fights in each game, and an all-time high single season total of 1089, according to DropYourGloves.com.
After Schultz's departure in 1976, the Flyers would use Paul Holmgren and Mel Bridgman for two years until finding the NHL's next champ in Behn Wilson.
Clark Gillies of the New York Islanders hammered Dave Schultz in 1975, staking his claim as the league's best fighter.
Wilson began the 1980-81 season by destroying Gillies and bringing the imaginary belt back to Philadelphia.
In 52 fights over five seasons with the Flyers, Wilson lost just twice.
No. 1: Dave Brown
Wilson spent his final four seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks. In the first season without Wilson, the Flyers found their replacement; a 6' 5" left-handed monster named Dave Brown.
Brown fought for Philadelphia 116 times before being traded to the Oilers in 1989. He had lost just three of those fights.
Brown continued to be one of the NHL's best fighters of all time in a two-season stint with the Edmonton Oilers.
He has won fights against Bob Probert, Stu Grimson, John Kordic, Chris Nilan, Jay Miller, Jim Kyte, Mick Vukota, Jim McKenzie and even broke Ken Baumgartner's orbital bone.
He returned to Philadelphia for the end of his career, and now works for the Flyers as Director of Player Personnel.