San Jose Sharks: The 10 Best Fighters in Franchise History

Sam Kelly@samkelly10Contributor IIIOctober 13, 2011

San Jose Sharks: The 10 Best Fighters in Franchise History

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    Who doesn't love a good hockey fight?

    Chances are, if you're reading this article, you are one of many hockey fans who get pumped up watching two brawlers go at it toe-to-toe. 

    San Jose Sharks fans have had the privilege of seeing some of the best fighters in the history of the league suit up in teal and battle for their teammates over the years.  

    Here are 10 such players who had a knack for dishing out punishing haymakers.  

10. Brad Staubitz

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    Though his tenure with the San Jose Sharks was short-lived, Brad Staubitz makes this list by default thanks to his bloodying of Nashville Predators enforcer Jordin Tootoo back in 2009.

    Staubitz, who now plays for the Minnesota Wild, was never a talented scorer or a gifted penalty-killer. He was, however, always willing to stick up for his teammates and provide some grit and energy. 

9. Dody Wood

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    Dody Wood played for the San Jose Sharks in the mid-90's and amassed 471 penalty minutes in just 106 games played with the team. 

    He didn't have a long career in the NHL and wasn't a difference-maker on the ice, but he never hesitated to drop the gloves and exchange blows with the league's toughest customers.  

8. Jody Shelley

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    Acquired by the Sharks midway through the 2007-08 season in exchange for a draft pick, Jody Shelley was San Jose's go-to scrapper for the duration of the two years he spent with the team.

    Shelley has been heralded by teammates as a great locker room presence and an even better person. He has also carved out a reputation as one of the NHL's top enforcers.  

7. Douglas Murray

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    Douglas Murray is a staple on the Sharks' blue line, where he has spent the last few seasons as Dan Boyle's defense partner on the first pairing. 

    He broke into the league in 2005 as a slow-footed but tough rearguard with little in the way of actual talent. Since then, he has earned himself a full-time spot in San Jose's top four as a physical shut-down defenseman.

    Murray doesn't fight often anymore, but when he does, it rarely ends well for his opponent.  

6. Scott Thornton

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    Scott Thornton, the cousin of current Sharks captain Joe Thornton, spent five seasons with San Jose as a key component in their bottom six. 

    In addition to providing secondary scoring, strong defensive play and leadership, Thornton was a highly physical player and a fierce competitor. He was never considered a true enforcer, but he was always willing to throw down with the best of them. 

5. Ryane Clowe

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    Currently among the league's top power forwards, Ryane Clowe joined the Sharks in 2006 and has been a core player for them ever since. 

    Not only is Clowe a force in the offensive zone, he's also a highly respected leader, as demonstrated by the 'A' he wears on his chest. His willingness to go to the dirty areas, play physical and stick up for his teammates makes him a valuable asset to the Sharks—and an intimidating opponent to the rest of the NHL. 

4. Scott Parker

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    Nicknamed "The Sheriff", Scott Parker joined the Sharks in 2003 and registered 101 penalty minutes in 50 games during his first season with the club.

    Parker, who was always known for his ridiculous facial hair, hasn't played an NHL game since 2008, but the 240-pound winger was one of the league's most dominant fighters during his prime.  

3. Owen Nolan

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    Drafted first overall by the Quebec Nordiques in 1990, Owen Nolan was traded to the Sharks in 1995 and was the captain and face of the franchise until he left the organization to join the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2003. 

    He was a prolific scorer and an imposing physical presence during the prime years of his career, and he will long be remembered as one of the toughest and most fearless captains in Sharks history. 

2. Jeff Odgers

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    A heart-and-soul player who spent five years with San Jose, Jeff Odgers was a fan favorite during his time as a Shark.

    He compiled a whopping 2,364 penalty minutes in 821 games before hanging up the skates for good in 2003. 

    Ask any Sharks fan who their all-time favorite fighters are and I guarantee they'll have Jeff Odgers on their short list.  

1. Link Gaetz

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    Link Gaetz spent just one season as a member of the Sharks, but the 48 games he suited up for in teal were more than enough to cement his position as the greatest brawler to ever play for San Jose.

    Weighing in at 240 pounds, the 6' 3" defenseman was equipped with a large frame and a machine gun for an arm that allowed him to wreak havoc on his dance partners.  

    Sam Kelly is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @samkelly10.