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Best Enforcers of All Time

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Old
02-02-2013, 07:15 PM
  #101
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Not sure why Orr's name is in this thread. He could fight but the thread is about enforcers.

Not enough love for John Ferguson. Many claim he was the best, and players were scared of him.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZnTwmabOxA

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02-02-2013, 08:06 PM
  #102
85highlander
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BamBamCam View Post
Not sure why Orr's name is in this thread. He could fight but the thread is about enforcers.
While not an enforcer, some have argued that Bobby Orr was actually responsible for the genesis of "goon" hockey with the advent of the Big, Bad Bruins.

Joe Pelletier's blog has a quote from Derek Sanderson's new book which is telling:


"It was a young team, but we took care of each other. Bobby Orr made a rule that no one was ever to be in a fight alone. You were only alone until the second guy got there. If you hit one of us, the closest teammate was going to clock you - just drill you in the back of the head, cross-check you or sucker-punch you. Pow! Whatever it took. Eventually they NHL instituted the third man in rule to eliminate this."

http://www.greatesthockeylegends.com...on-hockey.html

So while not an enforcer, Orr did lead the Big, Bad Bruins in cumulative penalty minutes from '66-'75 - he was his own enforcer...though everyone on that team stood up for each other.

The beginning of the video below shows Orr flying in to help Espo....typical stuff for that team:



Last edited by 85highlander: 02-02-2013 at 09:13 PM.
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02-03-2013, 07:51 PM
  #103
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This thead has many pages of discussion about Bobby Orr....I don't get it, but it's all right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyAwe View Post
Boxing and hockey fights are two different sciences.
And very much so if I may add. Imo, professional boxers have not any ultimate credibility to rank hockey fighters.

Quote:
This guy is a joke anyway, he picks Howe as the greatest fighter ever - another myth.
The thing with Howe is that there is not much information about his fighting ability. He was apparently very feared player, but the reputation came mostly from his will to play violently dirty if necessary. He was intimidating and respected character and AFAIK did not have to fight much. On the other hand, those tools are essential for enforcers, not just the fighting ability itself. Then again, there were no actual "enforcers" during the Howe -era. Even star players were expected to be tough back then. Gordie Howe is a mythical figure in many ways but likely rightfully so.


Anyway, as before, I'd go for Bob Probert as the best player-enforcer and Dave Brown as the best goon-enforcer. These guys played during "the golden enforcer era" which lasted from 80's to early 90's. The league was full of tough guys and there were more fights than ever.

Probert was some kind of gretzky of enforcers as far as popularity goes. He was also a decent hockey player, but really unreal fighter. If he somehow lost he avenged it next time. Of course he got old and got beaten more by that time, but during his prime Probert was nothing sort of legendary.

While Dave Brown was not technically the best fighter(still one of the best), he was probably the meanest of his time and did not much care about "the code". He was there just to hurt and intimidate the opposing players.

Break another goon's orbital bone with a fist? Done.
A brutal cross-check in the face in a very cold blooded manner? He deserved it.
Beat a no-fighting skill player as a retaliation? No problem.
Keep pummeling without mercy while other is helpless on the ice? Stop whining, he did not die.

Brown had little need for morals if he think somebody deserved a punishment. And Brown was not a raving madman, just a genuinely mean SOB. Brown made 10+ year career at NHL as a player without having any NHL level hockey skills. Yeah, he scored a few goals, but mostly because defenders rarely dared to touch him. His PIM totals are nothing special as Brown was mostly sitting on the bench and yet NHL GM's and coaches wanted him. They wanted Brown to sit there on the bench. And we are talking about professional hockey teams at the highest level. They did not send him to minors. 10 years. No hockey skill. Just sitting, intimidating and fighting. That is something to think about.


Last edited by Slapshooter: 02-03-2013 at 07:57 PM.
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Old
02-05-2013, 02:17 PM
  #104
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Bob Probert by a mile. In my opinion it's not even close. Best enforcer and fighter to ever play in the NHL. Again though. This is just my opinion.

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02-05-2013, 02:38 PM
  #105
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Schultz was before my time so I can only go by a few clips and word of mouth.

Tony Twist gets pretty underrated when talking enforcers imo. I recall him intentionally missing a punch just to follow through with his elbow pad...he bloodied up quite a few opponents.

My personal favorite though was Stu Grimson.

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02-06-2013, 11:33 AM
  #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slapshooter View Post
The thing with Howe is that there is not much information about his fighting ability.
He didn't fight all that much. If not for that one lop-sided bout (Fontinato), i don't think he would ever have been named among the best fighters ever. That's why i categorize him as a myth as far as fighting goes. His reputation as a fighter is based almost entirely on that one fight.

Quote:
He was apparently very feared player, but the reputation came mostly from his will to play violently dirty if necessary. He was intimidating and respected character and AFAIK did not have to fight much. On the other hand, those tools are essential for enforcers, not just the fighting ability itself. Then again, there were no actual "enforcers" during the Howe -era. Even star players were expected to be tough back then. Gordie Howe is a mythical figure in many ways but likely rightfully so.
Correct - he was feared, but not so much for his fists

...and regardless of his fighting ability, he didn't play the role of protecting everyone else on the team. He protected himself, usually with a pre-emptive strike.

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02-06-2013, 02:33 PM
  #107
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craig coxe, an undistinguished heavyweight who fought all of his era's big boys, told us during his hockey camp twenty years ago that the guy he and everyone else feared the most was kocur, not probert. probert was mean and could rag doll you, he said, but kocur could put you in the hospital with a single punch if you let up your guard for just one second. the difference between being embarrassed and/or beat up and having your career flat out ended.

but of course, if you're a goon playing detroit in the late 80s, you had to contend with both. yikes.

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02-08-2013, 10:07 AM
  #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
craig coxe, an undistinguished heavyweight who fought all of his era's big boys, told us during his hockey camp twenty years ago that the guy he and everyone else feared the most was kocur, not probert. probert was mean and could rag doll you, he said, but kocur could put you in the hospital with a single punch if you let up your guard for just one second. the difference between being embarrassed and/or beat up and having your career flat out ended.

but of course, if you're a goon playing detroit in the late 80s, you had to contend with both. yikes.
Yeah the Bash Brothers were in a different world. If Probert didn't get you Kocur would. Judging how this board reacts to the slightest of checks, they would have fainted watching the Bash Brothers play. In fact most of them would quit watching hockey all together watching those two play.


That said, still not seeing the love for John Ferguson that I think we should be seeing. Some say he was the most feared and best enforcer there ever was.

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02-09-2013, 03:43 AM
  #109
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Sememko personal favorite.
Probert probably the best as per OP

How did Boogard only get mentioned once? The guy was terrifying .

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02-09-2013, 11:40 AM
  #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BamBamCam View Post
Orr could change water into wine and somehow you would find fault with it. We get it, he's a Bruin and you hate him.
people started ragging on Orr because there are people in this thread trying to call him the best enforcer of all time. Guys like Probet would absolutely slaughter the guy.

My top 5:

Probert
Brown
Behn Wilson
Kocur
Twist

Crazy to think Kocur and Probert were on the same team in Detroit, I think Kocur was more feared actually

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02-09-2013, 09:50 PM
  #111
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John Ferguson is the best I ever saw. I don't ever recall him losing a fight and he could play the game as well. In more recent times guys like Derek Boogard (6'7", 260 lbs) and John Scott (6'8", 260 lbs) intimidate largely because they are (were) enormous although neither could play anything remotely resembling hockey.

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02-09-2013, 10:22 PM
  #112
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Maybe touched on already, but I see a difference between an enforcer and a goon. Enforcers can play hockey and take a regular shift. Goons are simply fighters. So that narrows the field down for me. As much as Schultz was mostly a fighter, he had a decent scoring touch, so I don't see him simply as a goon. There are a few that really stand out for me:

Robinson - rarely challenged and universally feared, his presence was enough.
Wendel Clark - for an average sized man, he took on all the goons and enforcers of his era and usually won. Great player when healthy and not in the box.
Gillies - see Robinson.
Probert - maybe never a more challenged enforcer in the history of the game. Every new goon had to have a go him. Decent hands for being always swollen and bloody.
O'Reilly - skills, guts and fists of fury. You want a guy like that on your team.
Messier - see Robinson.
Byfuglien - The Jets have Thorburn but nobody messes with Buff.

Not on my list but likely could be:

Pronger - Good player and is feared, but I view him as a coward and cheapshot artist. Did he ever pick on someone his own size? Loved it when Buff hammered him in the 2010 SCF.
Domi - as tough as they come, but just not enough skill.

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02-09-2013, 11:40 PM
  #113
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Probert will always be the greatest.

As for the guys of this generation, Godard was my favourite along with Boogaard.

It's a shame that Boogaard is no longer with us, and Godzilla retired.

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02-10-2013, 10:41 AM
  #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newfy View Post
people started ragging on Orr because there are people in this thread trying to call him the best enforcer of all time. Guys like Probet would absolutely slaughter the guy.

My top 5:

Probert
Brown
Behn Wilson
Kocur
Twist

Crazy to think Kocur and Probert were on the same team in Detroit, I think Kocur was more feared actually
Yeah I am confused as to why Orr is in this thread too and I am a freaking Bruin fan. Orr does not belong in this at all.

Nice list, forgot about Behn Wilson but not sure he belongs. Wilson was g ood fighter but Stan Jonathan was able to beat up on Wilson. Jonathan was a hell of a fighter maybe top 15-20 but he was not an overwhelming enforcer.

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02-10-2013, 10:43 AM
  #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Wood View Post
John Ferguson is the best I ever saw. I don't ever recall him losing a fight and he could play the game as well. In more recent times guys like Derek Boogard (6'7", 260 lbs) and John Scott (6'8", 260 lbs) intimidate largely because they are (were) enormous although neither could play anything remotely resembling hockey.
Finally, I keep mentioning him hoping some people would start to talk about him.

Ferguson was a beast, easily could rival Probert or any of the other people mentioned on here. Two thumbs up!

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