George Parros retired from the NHL on Friday after nine seasons as one of the league’s most feared brawlers.
A giant of a man who was loved just as much for his work off the ice as he was for his play on it, Parros’ fight log at hockeyfights.com reads like a novel. Seriously. Over the course of his career, Parros chucked knuckles more than 150 times, including 11 fights against Darcy Hordichuk, 8 battles with Jody Shelley, and 7 tilts with Colton Orr.
Here are Parros’ five greatest fights:
5. Parros vs. Eric Godard, 2007-08
The fight takes place coming right out of a commercial break, which for some reason makes it that much better.
Both combatants throw a couple bombs, but the highlight of the fight comes when Parros takes Godard to the ice but he pops right back up. If the enforcer is dying, this may be one of the last times you see two giants throw like this.
4. Parros vs. Cam Janssen, Feb. 19, 2011
Another tilt right off the draw, this one pits Parros against another heavyweight, Cam Janssen. You hear the commentators talk about how it is Parros’ 22nd fight – by the end of 2010-11, Parros would fight five more times for a total of 27 on the year.
This fight is an absolute marathon. You can see how tired both are by the end of it, but the win goes decidedly to Parros, if nothing else because Janssen could barely get a punch in.
3. Parros vs. Jody Shelley, Dec. 11, 2008
The thing to watch in this scrap is the bombs they throw off the start. Shelley catches Parros with a couple quick ones. Parros follows suit with a combination of short jabs from Shelley’s collar and brings his right around to land a big shot.
It’s nothing close to the marathon with Janssen above, but by pure impact, this is one of Parros’ best fights.
2. Parros vs. Darcy Hordichuk, April 2, 2010
The uppercuts. Good grief.
These two were the greatest fighting rivals during their playing days, and you can tell that they obviously had some fisticuff chemistry. This was one of those fights that hurts to watch, especially when you think about just how little they’re doing to defend their faces from oncoming fists.
According to Hockey Fights, this was scored a Parros victory. The reason, we’ll venture to guess, are those uppercuts.
1. Parros vs. Riley Cote, Feb. 2, 2008
Again, it’s the uppercut that makes this fight stand out. This, of all the fights Parros had throughout his NHL career, is the highest ranked fight on Hockey Fights. The reason, you can be sure, is the way it ends: with one, solid, tooth-rocking uppercut.
From the moment Parros shakes his right arm free, you can almost feel it coming. When the elbow pad comes loose, it seems like inevitability. Cote’s head comes down, Parros’ hand goes up, and Cote hits the deck.
Thankfully, on the reverse shot, you can see Cote’s head doesn’t strike the ice. Though the damage was already done, as Parros dropped Cote in a split second.