NHL Fights: 15 Great Fights Featuring Non-Fighters
The NHL enforcer has long been a hockey tradition. Each team has one or two players who are willing to drop the gloves to protect the star players from being roughed up.
However, sometimes, it's not the enforcer who gets into scraps.
Star players have been known to get into a fight or two over the years. Most of these fights come out of frustration; the star player gets tired of getting hooked, slashed and treated poorly all night.
They take matters into their own hands.
As these guys are not used to dropping the gloves, the results aren't always the best.
So here is a look at 15 fights involving guys who are not known for their fists.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. Feel free to add to it in the comments section.
Wayne Gretzky vs. Neil Broten
The greatest player in hockey was known for his fluid skating, game anticipation and playmaking. Fighting was foreign to him.
Here, Gretzky has had enough from Minnesota's Neil Broten. Not the best fight for the Great One, but you have to admire the fact that he dropped the gloves first.
Mario Lemieux vs. Gary Lupul
Like Gretzky, Mario Lemieux was one of the league's best scorers. What Lemieux had that Gretzky didn't was size.
That made him a big target for guys to take shots at. Here is one of Lemieux's first, and only, fights with Vancouver's Gary Lupul.
Note Vancouver goalie and current broadcaster, John Garrett flying in at the end.
Sidney Crosby vs. Keith Ballard
Sidney Crosby may not get into too many more fights after his recent concussion problems, especially if he is going to take blows like he does here from Keith Ballard.
The play starts with a signature Ballard hip check on Malkin, which causes Crosby to respond.
Alex Ovechkin vs. Brandon Dubinsky
Love him or hate him, Ovechkin has shown he isn't afraid to get into a scrap when he needs to. Here, his heart is in the right place, but not his fists, against New York's Brandon Dubinsky.
This fight was captured on HBO's 24/7, and you can hear Dubinsky say "Good job, buddy" as they were tangled on the ice.
Patrick Marleau vs. Kevin Bieksa
San Jose's Patrick Marleau wins the guts prize for stepping up to fight Vancouver's Kevin Bieksa in last year's playoffs.
Clearly, Marleau was hoping that by taking on a bigger and more experienced fighter, he would ignite his teammates. Unfortunately for San Jose, all it did was make Ben Eager go nuts and take stupid penalty after stupid penalty.
Joe Thornton vs. Ryan Getzlaf
This is another playoff tilt between the leaders for the Sharks and Ducks. This fight started right off the face off and featured two guys with great size but who are more known for scoring than throwing punches.
This was the highlight for the Sharks during this series, as they were upset in the first round by the eighth-seeded Ducks.
Rick DiPietro vs. Brent Johnson
Goaltenders are supposed to stop pucks and not fists. Somebody needs to remind Rick DiPietro of that if he is going to challenge the opposing netminder in the future.
This fight was over quick, as Johnson dropped DiPietro with one punch.
Patrick Roy vs. Mike Vernon
Now this is how goalies should fight. In one of the most classic brawls in recent history, Colorado's Patrick Roy and Mike Vernon square off in the most heated rivalry of the 1990s.
Rick DiPietro needs to study this tape.
Lindy Ruff vs. Bryan Murray (NSFW)
Sometimes coaches get heated up and want a piece of each other. Even though no right hooks are thrown in this scrap, there are plenty of bombs...F-bombs.
The best part is watching Rob Ray, with the headphones in the middle of it, trying to cover his microphone.
Pavel Datsyuk vs. Corey Perry
Corey Perry in a fight is not that rare, but seeing multiple Lady Byng winner Pavel Datsyuk dropping the gloves is a rare sight.
Datsyuk held his own in this one despite being overmatched.
Mike Green vs. Ilya Kovalchuk
Here is a great fight between two guys who don't normally fight. You have to love the start as they square each other up.
After that, the fight starts to look like a figure-skating performance as they spin each other around.
Quick, someone figure out how much New Jersey paid for each Kovalchuk punch.
Joe Sakic vs. Doug Gilmour
Here is another fight featuring a Lady Byng winner in Joe Sakic. Sakic rarely fought and does pretty well here against the tough Gilmour.
However, the best part of this fight is the announcer losing it. I wonder which team he worked for?
Brad Richards vs. Olli Jokinen
After watching this fight, it's clear that the Rangers did not sign Brad Richards this offseason for his fighting ability.
Here he is, while with Tampa Bay, "fighting" with Olli Jokinen.
Pierre Turgeon vs. Dean Evason
Whenever you can get a clip that includes the Hartford Whalers into a piece, you do it. Here is former Lady Byng winner Pierre Turgeon taking on Hartford's Dean Evason.
Turgeon gets pretty roughed up in this one.
Ron Francis vs. Alexi Kasatonov
Once again, we have a multiple Lady Byng winner looking a little unsportsmanlike. This time, it's Pittsburgh's Ron Francis who squares off with giant Russian defenseman Alexi Kasatonov.
One quick side note, do you notice how many of the fights in these clips were instigated by Claude Lemieux?