Hockey is a brutal game. It’s played on ice at high speed, it involves tons of physical contact, and it’s really not that rare to see people taking their gloves off, dropping their hockey sticks, and freely engaging in some real punching. For a game as brutal as that, it’s logical to assume that some members of the team would be specialized in physical dominance, and that’s where the enforcers shine.
They’re here to protect their allies, charge into the enemy team, and usually deliver some serious damage. Here are 21 best fighters in NHL history:
1. Gordie Howe
Gordie Howe is nicknamed “Mr. Hockey,” most probably because of his spectacular performance during his active years. He is widely considered one of the greatest hockey players of all time, and he is a twenty-three time NHL All-Star.
Howe was the one holding many of the sport’s scoring records until Wayne Gretzky broke some of them in the 90s. However, Howe still continues to hold the records for most games and seasons played. He was also a sturdy fighter, although not the most frequent one. He never actually had the need to fight, seeing as just about everything else he did on the ice was flawless.
He wasn’t afraid to drop the gloves, though, and his most famous fight came against Maurice Richard in a battle that people still talk about today. Another famous fight of his was the one with Fred Shero – it was so intense that Madison Square Garden police had to break them up and send them to the penalty box. Unsurprisingly, they continued their brawl there.