I don't particularly enjoy today's choreographed goon-to-goon, hockey fights, but I appreciate a truly spontaneous battle between two hockey warriors. The best modern examples I can think of are Jarome Iginla vs. Vincent Lecavalier in the 2004 Stanley Cup finals, or even Brendan Shanahan's having enough of Donald Brashear's antics earlier this season.
I usually try to highlight truly classic hockey fights. While there is no video footage of Rocket Richard vs. Bob Dill or Gordie Howe vs. Leapin' Louie Fontinato, there is lots out there, including Larry Robinson nullifying Dave "The Hammer" Schultz, Marty McSorley vs. Wendel Clark back in the 93 Conference finals, or Stan Jonathan's beating up Pierre Bouchard, which is always the most popular fight viewed on my site.
Other fights I profile might not be quite as historically significant, but have stood the test of time to be part of hockey lore. I'm thinking of Tie Domi vs. Bob Probert, or Troy Crowder vs. Bob Probert, or Craig Coxe vs. Bob Probert. Yes, Probie remains incredibly popular, and yes, a lot of fighters should thank him for their NHL careers just because he gave them a chance to make a name for themselves.
Ultimately, the reason I created the Hockey's Tough Guys channel wasn't to glorify fighting, but to remember the tough guys who in many cases are legends as much as Gretzky or Lemieux. I know the profiles often get overlooked by the masses who are looking for the video clips, but I hope in time more people will read about the men who earn their NHL checks the hard way.
No commentary on "Hockey's Tough Guy's" is complete without mention of John Brophy. Brophy played 1141 games in the Eastern Hockey League amassing 3825 penalty minutes.Brophy might be known by younger fans for his coaching stint with the Maple Leaf's in the 80's or with Hampton Roads of the ECHL in the 90's where he led them to three championships.
But Brophy is a legend among older fan's of minor league hockey for his playing days mainly spent with the L.I. Ducks patrolling the blueline wearing number 3 he remains the fiercest player I ever saw, his battles against hated rivals the New Haven Blades are classics.Someday one hopes that the Hockey Hall of Fame will recognize someone like Brophy for his contribution to the game
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