Hockey season may be right around the corner but that doesn’t soothe the current pain of waking up every day to no hockey. One of the things missed most by its enthusiasts is a good old-fashioned hockey fight. While some people claim it’s barbaric and there’s no place for it in the game, others swear the self-policing keeps players safe and honest.
Regardless of which opinion you side with, a rich history of fisticuffs in hockey dates back to the 19th century. The NHL officially introduced Rule 56 in 1922, formally regulating fighting in the official NHL rulebook. Almost a hundred years and countless fights later, we, the Hockey Players Club, created our list of the best hockey fights of all time.
“Good Friday Brawl” Quebec Nordiques vs Montreal Canadiens – April 20, 1984
Anytime you get a bunch of Canadian hockey players together, someone’s getting punched in the face. This was the case on Good Friday back in 1984 where everyone was swarming more than Dead Heads at a Grateful Dead concert.
Bob Probert vs Craig Coxe – November 11, 1985
Nothing better than two men throwing nonstop punches for 40 seconds.
Boston Bruins vs New York Rangers – December 23, 1979
Any time a player goes into the stands to fight a fan it’s memorable, but when the whole team does… it’s legendary. That was the case at Madison Square Garden back in 1979. The best part of this altercation may be Mike Milbury hitting a fan with the fan’s own shoe…classic!
Tony Twist vs Rob Ray – November 27, 1995
Tony Twist may be a goofy name but there’s nothing goofy about this fight. A massive, one-sided win for Twist which left Ray with numerous facial fractures.
Bob Probert vs Marty McSorley – February 4, 1994
Brent Johnson vs Rick DiPietro – February 2, 2011
“Brawl in Hockeytown” Detroit Red Wings vs Colorado Avalanche – March 26, 1997
In response to Claude Lemieux’s vicious hit on Kris Draper, these two squads hold absolutely nothing back. Plus, bonus commentary of Don Cherry calling Claude a turtle. Legendary.
Philadelphia Flyers vs Ottawa Senators – March 5, 2004
Metallica playing in the background, Rob Ray v. Donald Brashear, a line brawl, and a goalie fight… are you not entertained?!?!?!
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Islanders – February 11, 2011
Fueled by a hate-filled game 9 days prior, these two two teams racked up 8 fighting majors and a staggering 346 minutes of penalties combined.
Bob Nystrom vs John Wensink – April 17, 1980
We’re not sure what’s better: the nonstop barrage of punches or John Wensink’s afro. Either way, classic tilt.
What legendary hockey fight did we miss? Comment below!
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