You must be wondering why they let them fight in ice hockey. It is said that fighting in hockey contributes immensely to creating solidarity in a team, preventing other foul play, and protecting star players. There are a few things that are worth noting in regard to hockey fights. The fighting is done by the enforcers in a team whose role is known to be to intimidate.
Also, some fights are premeditated by the players, and others are spontaneous. As much as these fights are allowed, participants do not get to go scot-free. There is a myriad of penalties that are imposed on them.
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Here are the top ten hockey fights in history.
- Tiger Williams vs. Dave Schultz
One of the things that make this fight astonishing is the players behind it. Tiger Williams does not only appear several times in hockey fights, but he is also an outstanding player. He leads in the NHL in penalty minutes, amounting to 3,971. In total, William has been in 234 fights, which all resulted in bruised knuckles and black eyes. The fantastic part about this is that he always ends up on the winning side.
What prompted this fight was Tiger William’s slash on Philadelphia captain Bobby Clarke. This did not sit well with Dave Schultz, and he dropped his gloves and went after Tiger Williams.
- Montreal Canadiens vs.Quebec Nordiques
Quebec Nordiques left a legacy of being the best goal scorers and being hard hitters. The most memorable fight of this team, which is currently known as the Colorado Avalanche, took place in 1984. The fight took place on April 20 in Adams Divisional Final game 6. The fight resulted from what can be termed as the heightening of frustration due to the length of the series.
Later in the game, the players circled each other, and this is where the blows started. This was a pretty thrilling fight, as there were 14 battles taking place on the ice at the same time. The fight attracted an enormous 252 penalty minutes.
- Vincent Lecavalier vs. Jarome Iginla
The unique thing about this fight is that the best forwarders enforced it in their times. The two players met in 2004 in the Stanley Cup Final. How did the fight start? Well, Lecavalier was put off by the aggressive checking of the other forwarder, Iginla, in Game 3, where the two were battling across the boards.
Vincent turned to square his opponent, Iginla, who seemed to have more experience in exchanging blows. It didn’t take him too much energy to get in the rhythm.
- Lou Fontinato vs. Gordie Howe
The one thing you will realize about this fight is that there is no visual record. However, this does not mean that it did not happen. The stories passed down are enough to help you create a visual scenario of the fight. Lou Fontiano was known to be one of the most feared enforcers to play hockey.
This particular fight took place in New York on February 1, 1959. Lou finally got the chance to mean one of the game’s fantastic scorers, who was also not afraid to drop the gloves, Gordie Howe. The fight ended with Lou getting a significant share of punches and a dislocated jaw.
- Montreal Canadiens vs. Philadelphia Flyers
What made this fight astonishing was the fact that it started even before the game began. It qualifies as one of the planned hockey fights. It happened on May 14, 1987, in game 6 in the Wales Conference.
It all started because Claude Lemieux could not heed the warnings made by the Flyers not to shoot the puck into the empty net. This was the most embarrassing fight ever recorded by the NHL.
- Ottawa Senators vs. Philadelphia Flyers
The reason behind the Philadelphia Flyer’s hold for the most penalty minutes of 419 was Donald Brashear. He was also known as the most fierce enforcer of that time. The rivalry between the two teams ensued after Ottawa sent Philadelphia home for a straight two years. The team could not let that slide when they next met after the series of losses.
Ottawa’s Martin Havlat had hit Philadelphia’s player Mark Recchi in the face with his hockey stick, fueling a lot of emotions in the Philadelphia Flyers, less than two minutes into the March 5, 2004 game. Brashear and Rob Ray dropped the gloves and got into it. This motivated chaos in the game: both teams had to finish the game with only 13 players.
- Donald Brashear vs. Marty McSorley
Donald Brashear was not only an outstanding hockey player, but he could also not miss the chance to get physical. His fight with Marty McSorley was motivated by endless taunting throughout the game.
All this time, McSorley was getting worked on by Brashear until he got the chance to give him a share of the beating. Unfortunately, this cost him his career as he was charged with assault. This was, however, one of the most memorable fights in the history of hockey.
- Detroit Red Wings vs.Colorado Avalanche
This March 26, 1997, fight was the most heated that hockey has ever seen. Claude Lemieux, who was Colorado’s enforcer, served Detroit’s Slava Kozlov with a punch. It did not stop there; Lemieux served Kris Draper with a hit that left him with a fractured jaw. This is the bloodiest and the most-watched hockey fight – ever.
Hockey fights still exist and remain one of the things about the games that most fans look forward to. If you haven’t watched the fights above, you will have no idea what hockey fights look like.