Chucking knuckles is still a controversial part of the game, but who are the best in the league right now? We count down the very best of the enforcers in the NHL as a look ahead to the 2014-15 campaign.
If you like a good scrap, you might find yourself a bit under siege lately in the hockey world. Regulations are tightening up, though the powers-that-be still maintain that organic fights, rather than staged bouts, are still part of the game. And even though enforcers such as Paul Bissonnette and Colton Orr appear to have uphill battles in returning to the NHL this season, there are still plenty of scrappers to watch. With a shout-out to hockeyfights.com as a research tool, here are the best:
10. Chris Neil, Ottawa – Fights a lot, but usually loses to straight-up enforcers.
9. Rich Clune, Nashville – Great sense of humor to go with his punching prowess.
8. Tom Wilson, Washington – Will start season on the shelf, but a great young scrapper.
7. Jared Boll, Columbus – Ankle injury killed last season, but he still fought eight times.
6. Tom Sestito, Vancouver – No one fought more, though results were mixed.
5. Ryan Reaves, St. Louis Blues – Real powerful puncher on a rough-and-tumble squad.
4. Jay Rosehill, Philadelphia – Carries the Broad Street torch in Philly.
3. Patrick Bordeleau, Colorado – Nuclear option doesn’t get challenged often.
2. Luke Gazdic, Edmonton – Not many losses on his impressive dance card.
1. Brian McGrattan, Calgary – The undisputed champ. Went 11-0 including bouts with Gazdic, Bordeleau and Sestito.