Pretty simple question. Since we're still dealing with the lockout I thought it'd be fun to hear who everyone thinks our top ten fighters to don the Blue and Gold were. I would definitely consider relative weight class when picking them because we've had our fair share of middle weights as well as heavy weights.
Can't comment on the guys before my time because i just haven't seen enough of them. One thing for sure though, youtube has been so awesome for being able to catch up with stuff like this where it just wasn't possible before. I actually grew up thinking Lindy Ruff was a rough and tumble fighter / grinder because that's how i always heard the older generation talk about him. Actually getting to see the tapes though, he was an embarrassment. Total coward on the ice, and when he did fight, he was absolutely terrible. So, in my time as a Sabres fan:
6.) Brad Miller
9.) Randy Moller
And even though he really probably should be there, i just can't find a way to put Andrew Peters in the top 10.
Hartman seemed to get into a lot of scraps from what I can remember of my early trips to the Aud; no real memories of him winning or losing though. Also, some more obvious guys to include from the following years would be Donnelly, Boughner, Boulton and Peters.
That would make the guys in the conversation for my list: Barnaby, Boughner, Boulton, Donnelly, Gare, Hartman, Korab, May, Peters, Playfair, Ray.
In pure numbers, via hockeyfights.com (click HERE for the top-100):
Rank Player Fight Totals
1 Rob Ray 238
2 Matt Barnaby 85
3 Mike Hartman 85
4 Andrew Peters 73
5 Larry Playfair 70
6 Lindy Ruff 69
7 Brad May 68
8 Mike Foligno 65
9 Eric Boulton 56
10 Danny Gare 51
Definitely needs some more defining criteria as to whether you want best fighters, fighters with the most bouts in their career / just with the Sabres as a lot of the better fighters didn't fight all that much since opponents knew they'd knock the snot out of them. Also different eras had different norms as you didn't have the clueless goons in the early years of the franchise while later you had the Boultons and Peters that could barely skate a shift. If I'm ranking them by their ability to throw, my list is something like this:
Neither Schultz nor Gillies were here for very long but they were amongst the most feared men in the NHL with good reason.
1) Brad May -- explosive first punch from either hand, feared by many
2) Larry Playfair -- earned the team a lot of space in his day, feared by many
3) Rob Ray -- game to go with everyone, had his own rule instated about tie-downs; longevity
4) Jim Schoenfeld -- stood up to the Big Bad Bruins almost single-handedly
5) Mike Foligno -- could play, could police, let no one get away with things against his teammates on the ice
6) Jerry Korab -- Kong, especially when he got angry
7) Mike Hartman -- not big, but he would go
8) Gord Donnelly -- a fearsome heavyweight
9) Kevin Maguire -- began the transition away from prissy hockey... nothing like the game he took on the entire Wings by running Chevy after Probert ran Barrasso
10) Danny Gare -- Kid could and would go, he was like the little brother who will fight anyone of his big brother friends and keeps coming back no matter how many knuckles he eats
HM -- Jan Ludvig. Repeated knee injuries ended his time here, but he was a nutbar and fought whenver he had to and seemingly whenever he could when was healthy.
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. - Aristotle
As a guy who got season tickets from day one and went to almost all the games until recently my choice is Larry Playfair. After he destroyed a few people there was very little mayhem when he was on the ice. He did not fight for points-but to end the fight quickly and often brutally. Korab was a guy few people wanted to fight also. Both of those guys we big for the times they played in and had long reaches with solid bases.
Lindros got so frustrated for not being able to knock out Barnaby that he kicked his skates out (Listen to these ****bag announcers). Show me a guy tougher, pound for pound. Matt earned his place on the top 10.
I think Peters deserves to be in the conversation. In his later years he trended towards worrying about protecting himself too much, but early on he was terrifying. Plus he almost always fought other fighters, AND fought some of the biggest guys.