My vote would go to Dave Brown. I just think he was a little crazier and meaner than most, not to mention looked for any possible advantage (sewing the arms of his jersey tighter so no one can grab them).
I don't think cry babies can be considered amongst the greatest fighters of all time. "Boo hoo, Montreal bought me out. Boo hoo, the animals are being killed, however try my GD energy drink. Boo hoo, the CHL needs a union..." **** Georges!
Damn Laraque looks like a baby Laraque in the Blouin video.
And with the Laraque vs. Probert fight that's hard to judge.. Probert leaned in tight like a small man does so he can't get punched in the face, Laraques fault for not backing up/pushing to get him in the range though.
Georges would probably be in my top 20 somewhere, but I never got the impression he regularly dominated guys despite winning on points in most of his fights. Still, as with anything else hockey related, it's hard to compare across eras.
Probert, Kocur, Brown, B. Wilson, Twist, Gillies, McKenzie and McSorley would all be in my HW top 10. Tocchet and W. Clark might also make it, as they could fight and beat HW's.
Another who's not mentioned here... kind of a Gillies type as he didn't fight a lot, was Barry Beck. He scared people.
And another who deserves some mention in the John Ferguson category was Orland Kurtenbach, who also carried quite a rep back in the day.
Eric Godard should be SOMEWHERE in this conversation. Also...John Scott as one of the best? His fight card is crap. I'd have to go with Probert or someone as the best, though.
Scott still has an impressive record, even if the overall impression of his fight card is a bit lacking, or not quite supportive enough for GOAT consideration. Still some accomplished scrappers in there, though, like Koci, Staubitz, Janssen, Parros, etc. And boy is big and can certainly throw them, so I would hardly laugh at the mere mention of his name in conversation.
In his prime BGL was the greatest and most feared heavyweight of all time. let's not even talk about the past. Guys like O'reilly and Nilan, etc...we're not in the same universe size / strength wise. Laraque was a specimen drafted in the 2nd round strictly because of his size and strength. I've talked to him on numerous occasions. He weighed in at 260 in his first year and if anyone remembers destroyed Rob Ray in his very first fight - broke his orbital bone, concussed him etc...nobody tried him again that year. nobody. imagine that. a rookie. There have been guys who were great, who did well vs him ---grimson, twist, etc...but no one could control another heavyweight like BGL could. No one.