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Kevin Biestra

Top 50 Most Legendary Fighters to Lace Up for the Canucks

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Greatest Fighting Legend to Skate for the Canucks...  

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12 minutes ago, Standing_Tall#37 said:

To me no one on this list screams Canuck more than Odjick, but the best legit heavyweight fights I saw coming from a heavyweight in a Canucks uniform was Brashear.... taking on the Laraques, Proberts and Grimsons of the league.

Fraser fought Probert several times  - and Kocur - hardest puncher in league history  (who Brashear did too and wisely tied up) and Ben Wilson ... so there are others too.  Brown beat the tar out of Grimson he was a middle of the road heavy really (broke his face literally).  Gaetz a legendary minor league tough guy who was on our team for a brief time  got beat by Probert and badly by Kocur...just to give Fraser some more props given he did well better against both main eventers....Crowder and Brashear are at the top of the list as far as heavyweights go (no matter what team they played for) but I’d agree with your statement.  Brashear fought the biggest baddest customers the league has ever seen and rarely lost a fight - both during and after he was in uniform for us.   That said I wouldn’t say he was the most exciting guy to watch either.    Domi made fun of him in the box because he wouldn’t open up (he’d just lost two in a row but no worse for wear either).  Probert also complained about that in his book (hugging) and said Crowder was the best he’d ever fought.  All in all this team and the league used to be very tough.  Not anymore and not since Brashear left.     

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, 189lb enforcers? said:

If any ex Canuck qualifies then I am curious where Messier should land. 
 

Right around Cooke...ha ha 

 

Seriously thought I haven’t seen a Messier fight that stands up to the average Gino fight.   The announcers play him up during them...haven’t seen video of one he’s KO’d or dominated  anyone / like his legend coming here I think his legend of a fighter is grossly overrated.  Shanny, Roberts, Neely, Bridgman, Clark and Tocchet were all better fighters of those that could get points too..

 

At the top of the pile and one of the very best ever is Larry Robinson.  Without him the Habs dynasty would have never lost the PHI flu...he came in and proceeded to beat up each of their tough guys starting with Shultz and worked down the list.  Incredible player and incredible fighter that one.

 

Messiers Dad was a minor league brawler so I’m sure he had it in his DNA...but he didn’t fight the leagues toughest/ instead his legend started with an altercation with Robinson in the playoffs where he threatens to use his stick on them if they go after Gretzky.  Respect for sure - but really like bringing a  knife to a gunfight right?  He was strong but not a top fighter. 
 

 

edit: including postseason Messier averaged less then 2 fights over his career ... he did beat the tar out of Otto which is no small thing...but also lost to tough but not really frequent fighters too.  Legendary in his own mind and that of the fan base more then anything 

Edited by IBatch
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Posted (edited)

I have decent sized hands, but when I shook Antoski’s hand in a Kamloops night club, who was tickled pink that my buddy happen to be rocking an Antoski 18 black Canucks sweater at the time, I realized how very boyish and insignificant I was as a physical human next to this guy, pretty close to my own age. 
 

I know we talk about some of these guys and their giant working-man’s hands, but I’ve yet to experience such a massive hand in a handshake, something I’m required to do a lot in my line of work. Delorme was another guy I shook hands with while I was a teenager and recall how it’s was like shaking hands with a catchers mitt. 
 

I’m glad others are representing Antoski in here. Same with Crowder and Brown, not Huggy Bear 5’11 Brown, the big one. Those Truly were nuclear weapons. 
 

Even Ruttuu was a great scrapper who would, like Phaneuf, hold on and tire you out and then come on late in a fight for an easy win. 
 

I’ve enjoyed hearing from the older posters, like @smithers joe about Orland. I was born in 74, only so much I can pretend to know about the early rosters, so I appreciate those others’ comments. Ibatch and Biestra keep the thread honest... looking at you, @apollo :P, but also enjoy your spirited posts. 
 

Great filler thread for the meanwhile. Thanks for creating and posting, all. 
 

Now, which current NHLer should Benning target to do the team’s pugilistic work? 
Reeves? Need it in the top 6 and top 4 to be effective, but that is difficult.

Instead, I still think Lowry and Edmundson would be a great start. 

Edited by 189lb enforcers?
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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, IBatch said:

Right around Cooke...ha ha 

 

Seriously thought I haven’t seen a Messier fight that stands up to the average Gino fight.   The announcers play him up during them...haven’t seen video of one he’s KO’d or dominated  anyone / like his legend coming here I think his legend of a fighter is grossly overrated.  Shanny, Roberts, Neely, Bridgman, Clark and Tocchet were all better fighters of those that could get points too..

 

At the top of the pile and one of the very best ever is Larry Robinson.  Without him the Habs dynasty would have never lost the PHI flu...he came in and proceeded to beat up each of their tough guys starting with Shultz and worked down the list.  Incredible player and incredible fighter that one. 

Fully agree, but still looking to place Messier in a Canucks fighters list. 
He fought in his first few years and was mainly a mean spot-picker and bully, which let’s admit was very effective. 
 

Was he Iginla-tough? 
Yes. 
 

Was he Wendell Clark tough? 
Nahh, but I think we can’t score him often enough to say. 
When guys aren’t willing to fight you, not that he didn’t have enforcers who’d look after that for him, it says something too. 
 

Messier was as tough as they come, not pure enforcer tough, but scoring champ tough, and meaner than all of them except maybe Pronger. If someone was to find and post his fights, that’d be cool.
 

I’m not advocating for the sack of crap, but I know he deserves to be on a list of capable Canuck fighters; it’s only fair. 

Edited by 189lb enforcers?
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26 minutes ago, IBatch said:

At the top of the pile and one of the very best ever is Larry Robinson.  Without him the Habs dynasty would have never lost the PHI flu...he came in and proceeded to beat up each of their tough guys starting with Shultz and worked down the list.  Incredible player and incredible fighter that one. 

I’ve been told this be several older fans of this aspect of the sport and those who understand the impact that man had. 
 

Excellent point and post. 

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Probably unpopular opinion but i'd nominate Gudbranson. 

 

He didn't fight as much as a Canuck but when he did he never lost. Too bad he mostly scrapped to protect himself and not in response to hits on teammates.  

 

Couple memorable ones. 

 

Tom Wilson was looking for a fight went for a big hit on Guddy but just bounced off of him. Then starts a fight after the whistle and gets wasted by Guddy. 

 

Broke Hamonic's face after a laying out Dube with a huge hit. 

 

The Matt Martin incident. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Ferlands_Head said:

Probably unpopular opinion but i'd nominate Gudbranson. 

 

He didn't fight as much as a Canuck but when he did he never lost. Too bad he mostly scrapped to protect himself and not in response to hits on teammates.  

 

Couple memorable ones. 

 

Tom Wilson was looking for a fight went for a big hit on Guddy but just bounced off of him. Then starts a fight after the whistle and gets wasted by Guddy. 

 

Broke Hamonic's face after a laying out Dube with a huge hit. 

 

The Matt Martin incident. 

 

 

He’s one of the better fighters still in the game.  After Neal retired the only true enforcer left in the game is Reaves - and he wouldn’t make the top 25 from 1974 onward.   Which says a lot.  McQuaid is not an enforcer but rarely loses either - just like his big brother Chara (who only fights hard if you hit him - otherwise I’d happy to tangle his opponents up because he doesn’t want to hurt them).  Guddy breaking Hamonics jaw is kind of shameful - but it is what it is and he’s one tough customer. 

Edited by IBatch
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, IBatch said:

Fraser fought Probert several times  - and Kocur - hardest puncher in league history  (who Brashear did too and wisely tied up) and Ben Wilson ... so there are others too.  Brown beat the tar out of Grimson he was a middle of the road heavy really (broke his face literally).  Gaetz a legendary minor league tough guy who was on our team for a brief time  got beat by Probert and badly by Kocur...just to give Fraser some more props given he did well better against both main eventers....Crowder and Brashear are at the top of the list as far as heavyweights go (no matter what team they played for) but I’d agree with your statement.  Brashear fought the biggest baddest customers the league has ever seen and rarely lost a fight - both during and after he was in uniform for us.   That said I wouldn’t say he was the most exciting guy to watch either.    Domi made fun of him in the box because he wouldn’t open up (he’d just lost two in a row but no worse for wear either).  Probert also complained about that in his book (hugging) and said Crowder was the best he’d ever fought.  All in all this team and the league used to be very tough.  Not anymore and not since Brashear left.     

I thought Tony Twist was the hardest puncher in league history? He notoriously would split helmets when he hit them.

 

I liked Scotty Walker for his stand and deliver style that I loved doing myself in Jrs.  Brad May was also fun to watch. Ryp and Bieksa were my favs to watch of the last generation of somewhat real fighters that the nhl will ever have.

 

 Curt Fraser was before my time, but a guy I heard had big paddles of hands was Brad Gassoff.

Edited by Standing_Tall#37
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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Standing_Tall#37 said:

I thought Tony Twist was the hardest puncher in league history? He notoriously would split helmets when he hit them.

 

I liked Scotty Walker for his stand and deliver style that I loved doing myself in Jrs.  Brad May was also fun to watch. Ryp and Bieksa were my favs to watch of the last generation of somewhat real fighters that the nhl will ever have.

 

 Curt Fraser was before my time, but a guy I heard had big paddles of hands was Brad Gassoff.

Twist was also a hard puncher ... from the same era Probert, Simon, Twist, and Brown also hard terminally scary hard punches - and later on Boogard.  Kocur broke a helmet and bruised the far side of a blokes mouth and gums ...  and broke orbital bones jaws and cheekbones...hit so hard he kept injuryjng his hand.  When it comes down to it the fighters themselves from the early-mid 90’s almost unanimously said Kocur was the hardest puncher (Tuff Guys ranked the enforcers with their input and fight experts)  back then he was listed at 6’ 205lbs so not really huge either but still a heavyweight by boxing standards then.   Brown broke Grimsons face in four places the second time he fought him early in his career.   All the above  guys knocked guys out with one punch at one time or the other Kocur did it the most though - and when the fighters themselves say he has the hardest punch they’ve ever felt - and those top 25 fighters include 1. Probert, Brown, Bomber, Twist, Simon, McSorely, Ewen, Berube, Grimson, Severyn, Gino, Churla, Sandman, Vokata, Peluso, Domi, Crowder etc - it has to mean something. Later on Boogaard owned the hardest punch and also did some damage to Fedoruk...but not nearly to as many faces as Kocur did - or Brown for that matter.  Twist was an all out goon - and was a contender when he played too ... But Kocur was a legend well before he hung them up and anyone fighting him feared his right hand...including Brashear when he started in MTL (fought him but wanted no part of his fisticuffs). 

Edited by IBatch
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1 hour ago, 189lb enforcers? said:

I’ve been told this be several older fans of this aspect of the sport and those who understand the impact that man had. 
 

Excellent point and post. 

Covid 19 has and this forum has me going further down memory lane then possibly ever to get my hockey fix.  Watched some Larry Robinson highlights and man could that guy skate and did he ever have some good hands for such a big guy.  His fight with Shultz when on and on and on and on with him really laying it on in the end for a resounding exclamation mark of a victory (during a brawl so limited refs available).  Too bad more of the older stuff isn’t available...on small guys fighting but the Jonathon fight against Habs tough guy Bouchard is a classic and I’m kind of glad it’s grainy and not recent footage.   Walker vs Petit is a classic already - had his arms pinned and Petit threw a couple hard rights with zero defense available given the refs were busy his karma was exacted beautifully and Petit was also one tough hombre.   Couple fights to see.  Also recommend Brown highlights - same with Ben Wilson ... not as popular names as Probert and say Domi - but top fighters for sure - same with Kocur. 

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, 189lb enforcers? said:

Fully agree, but still looking to place Messier in a Canucks fighters list. 
He fought in his first few years and was mainly a mean spot-picker and bully, which let’s admit was very effective. 
 

Was he Iginla-tough? 
Yes. 
 

Was he Wendell Clark tough? 
Nahh, but I think we can’t score him often enough to say. 
When guys aren’t willing to fight you, not that he didn’t have enforcers who’d look after that for him, it says something too. 
 

Messier was as tough as they come, not pure enforcer tough, but scoring champ tough, and meaner than all of them except maybe Pronger. If someone was to find and post his fights, that’d be cool.
 

I’m not advocating for the sack of crap, but I know he deserves to be on a list of capable Canuck fighters; it’s only fair. 

Good points..  the best fight I’ve found so far was him laying a beating on Otto who was no slouch in that regard - and those two bulls had a lot of bad blood going hammer and tong against each other (Otto was so good in the dot and we had nothing that could handle him that Linden was moved from the wing to center to handle him).   That said the other ones he had that I’ve watched he doesn’t lose badly - wins some lose some sort of thing - however the quality of competition is a little suspect.  Not as suspect as Bieksa (Otto is better then any guy Bieksa dropped them with)  - still fighting some heavyweights so I’d have him in the same area.   Saw your Antoski post...yeah he was a mountain of a man and would have mopped the ice with Messier. 
 

edit;  I re-call very late in his career everyone paired up on the ice and whomever Messier ended up with didn’t fair well either - all Messier did was grab his sweater up and choke him with it against the boards -didn’t really throw a punch (positive because he didn’t want to hurt him) - just choked the poor bloke until his face was turning reddish purple (he was definitely a strong guy).  Don’t think the other guy wanted a piece of him either it was just circumstance at the time.   He averaged around 2 fights a year. 

Edited by IBatch
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