The Most Unexpected Fights in NHL History
Did anyone see that pathetic so called fight between Alexander Semin and Marc Staal last week? How unexpected was that? I understand that both are definitely not considered fighters but what started off as a tussle in front of the net turned into something I was embarrassed to watch. When this pushing match hit the ice, Semin began to slap the hell out of Staal. He didn’t even try to hammer fist the guy, instead treat to a dozen open handed slaps.
Props to him for standing up for himself but maybe teams should provide a mandatory “learn how to defend yourself properly” course for their players. Is slapping even considered a technical fighting strategy? This caused a light bulb to flicker in my head.
This top 10 list is based two things. Either both players were not known as fighters but decided to drop the gloves anyway or one of the fighters had the world questioning their luck to be in that situation. In other words, these fights were unexpected because of who was exactly in them.
And now, we will not keep you waiting...
#10 – Sidney Crosby vs. Andrew Ference
This was actually a pretty decent middleweight battle and I think Ference was more surprised than the rest of us when Crosby began to throw. Did anyone really think that “the kid” would really drop the gloves once in his career, let alone twice? Last week, Crosby jumped Florida’s Brett Mclean right off the face off. Who’s next?
#9 – Nikolai Zherdev vs. Steven Stamkos
Stamkos has had experience in junior hockey fights but Zherdev was a definite rookie in this form of dancing. This unexpected battle, that no one saw coming, was quite entertaining to say the least.
#8 – Mariuz Czerkawski vs. PJ Stock
Here’s one definition of bad luck - Czerkawski getting tangled with Stock during a two team battle royal. You knew this was bad before it even happened. I suppose it could’ve been worse for the Polish Prince but the one punch he did throw almost hit the Boston Bruin, almost.
#7 – Zdeno Chara vs. Bryan McCabe
This is the “what the hell were you thinking” fight on this list. Chara is what I would call a true heavyweight and McCabe is what I would call a true……non heavyweight. There would be a small argument that Chara gave McCabe no choice in the matter but something provoked him to go bananas.
At 6 foot 9 inches, the Slovakian completed rag-dolled the much smaller Maple Leaf, I mean, he really had his way with him. Luckily for McCabe, he walked away from this when it was over. Sadly for McCabe, no one is stupid enough to back him up and seek revenge on that beast.
#6 – Sam Gagner vs. Ryan Kesler
Edmonton and Vancouver nearly got into a line brawl and that’s when these two separated from the group and had a respectable fight. Both players are talented speedsters and make fighting look like anyone can do it. It’s fun to see unexpected clashes like this one.
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#5 – Dan Cloutier vs. Tommy Salo
Here’s the second definition of bad luck – Salo getting tangled with Cloutier during a two team battle royal. While Czerkawski was stuck dancing with Stock, Salo attempted to help him out; big mistake. This invited Cloutier to come on down and engage in a good ole’ fashion goalie fight. The problem here is that Cloutier seems to be trained in the art of being crazy.
Salo stood no chance in this very unexpected mismatch, one of the worst of all-time. The smartest thing he did in the fight was turtle with this mask on and take about 18 haymakers to the body and helmet.
#4 – Joe Sakic vs. Doug Gilmour
Joe Sakic was in a fight? It’s true. I would easily say that he won the fight too with a near perfect style. Sakic must have done his homework since he looked to be very comfortable to be in that unexpected situation. Gilmour on the other hand was mocking Sakic but was obviously surprised when he took the first punch and forgot to throw one.
#3 – Daniel Briere vs. Mike Comrie
With a combined weight of less than 370 pounds and being stars on their teams, this unlikely fight was not boring at all. These guys barely know what penalties are, though Briere has had times of chirpiness, let alone a fight. This goes to show that even gentlemen can compete in an honourable battle (said in an English accent).
#2 – Rob Ray vs. Quebec Nordiques Fan
Feel no sympathy for this idiot. First of all, why, as a spectator, would you want to hop the glass to go on the hockey rink? Secondly, why would you than run to the opponents bench like a mad man? And thirdly, why of all the players on the bench to go after, why would you choose the one right beside Rob Ray?
Even with two cops trying is hardest to get the guy out of there, the Sabres players had a good grip on this Quebecer’s shirt and he wasn’t going anywhere. The 20-plus punches Ray gave this individual made you think about how stupid people can be. This Quebec fan learned the hard way to just stay in your seat and not excessively drink Canadian beer.
And my winner for the most unexpected fight NHL history goes to…
#1 – Wayne Gretzky vs. Neal Broten
Even the greatest player to ever play the game lost his cool and dropped his gloves. There has been many times where he has been in scuffles where the hugging eventually hit the ice. In this very unexpected case, Gretzky clearly threw this gloves off first, grabbed Broten but was fed with three right hands before falling to ice. Gretzky ended his career with a 0-1 fight record and no landed punches.
The Most Unexpected Fights That Deserve Honourable Mention:
- Saku Koivu vs. Scott Gomez
- Alexander Ovechkin vs. Mike Richards
- Alexei Kasatonov vs. Ron Francis
- Joe Murphy vs. his comeback attempt as a fighter
By Kevin Chaves
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer
Find all of Kevin's Best of the NHL articles here at Pro Hockey Fans!
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