Pugilism has always been an important part of hockey; the 10 best hockey fighters are, in their own way, as legendary as many of the game's great scorers, passers, and goaltenders. The best hockey fighters changed the game by protecting their team's stars, changing the momentum of games, and providing some of the game's greatest highlights. Here are the best hockey fighters of all time:
- Bob Probert – Probie was the most feared fighter of his or any time, a fearsome, unpredictable, and incredibly strong and mean man with a crazy streak that carried him away off the ice as well. Though his problems off ice became the headlines in later years—problems with drug and alcohol addiction, troubles with Chicago Blackhawks management—became the story, in his years with the Detroit Red Wings he was simply the most terrifying man in NHL history, easily at the top of the list of best hockey fighters of all time.
- Tie Domi – Fearsome and protective, Domi (affectionately referred to as Cement Head by some of his fellow best hockey fighters) won many fights, but may be best known for the popular punch that took down famous cheap-shot artist Ulf Samuelsson. Domi's time with the Leafs was one of the longest tenures for any of the best hockey fighters.
- Dave Semenko – Semenko was the Great Gretzky's "babysitter" during his years on the Oilers. After a while, no one bothered Wayne on the ice for fear of what Dave would do.
- Kelly Chase – An undersized fan favorite, Chase filled the Semenko role for Brett Hull in his high-scoring St. Louis Blues years. Now, his tough attitude comes across as a broadcaster for his home team. He's one of the best hockey fighters to transfer from the box to the booth.
- Tony Twist – Another St. Louis Blue, Twist defeated the top man on this list of best hockey fighters, Bob Probert, in an epic bout. Twister wasn't much of a player, but he was a hell of a fighter.
- Dave Schultz – No list of the best hockey fighters would be complete without one of the Flyers' famous Broad Street Bullies. Schultz was a showman when he fought, and could always bring a crowd to its feet and an opponent to his knees.
- Gordie Howe – Arguably the best overall player of all time was quite a tough guy himself. That's why there's the legendary "Gordie Howe Hat Trick": a goal, an assist, and a fight.
- Chris Simon – The former Avalanche crazy man was one of the most feared players of his time. His presence alone puts him on the list of the best hockey fighters of all time.
- Stu Grimson – How could anyone nicknamed "The Grim Reaper" not be on the list of the best hockey fighters? Stu and Probert often squared off in old Norris Division battles.
- Tiger Williams – Not the strongest guy, but maybe the toughest. Tiger Williams was the heart and soul of every team he played for; that makes him a perfect number on the list of best hockey fighters of all time.
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