Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Boxscore, Jan 25, 2011.
Who is the best enforcer of all-time, based on peak (not longevity, etc.)
This is a hard one as Kocur and Probert were scary together (not that they werent scary alone). I think O'reilly should be mentioned though. He was downright scary but I guess my vote goes to Schultz.
Based on the list, Clark Gillies, but I'm not sure if he fought enough to really be considered an enforcer. He was one of the toughest players in the league, could fight and was a hell of a hockey player.
For a guy who fought alot, nobody was better than peak level Probert amongst players I've seen.
Terry O'Reilly should be on this list as well.
Just to clarify -- I don't mean "best" as is "most talented player". I mean, who was the best fighter/champ at their peak? Or, if all of these dudes had a battle royal when they were at the absolute peak as a fighter, who is the best? Not that you guys were confused, just wanted to clarify in case.
I understood and I think Schultz might have a very marginal upper hand in this. Gillies is no slouch either but I believe both Probert and Kocur had better peak than him.
The top 4 would be O'Reilly, Schultz, Kocur and Probert.
Edit: How can we forget Semenko? So add him to the top 5.
I should have included Terry on the list. Huge oversight on my part. Not that I think he was the baddest dude ever, but he certainly warrants a top spot. I voted Twist over Probert and Brown. When Twist was in his hayday, his knockout punch rivaled Kocur and he was more feared than anyone I could remember. Dudes just did not want to fight him at all costs.
Well, he was feared I agree but remember, Kocur and Probert were feared long after their peaks.
Even whole benches screamed for their cocky young fighters to not drop the gloves with Kocur for example.
I don't get the Dave Schultz love. Sure, he was probably the most active enforcer at his peak, but he also fought (and/or jumped) a lot of not so tough guys. Any time he would tangle with a real mean opponent (and I'll grant, he would take on anyone), if Schultz started getting the worst of it, a bunch of other Flyers would pile on.
Probert got my vote, but most of the other guys on the list would be decent selections too. Chris Nilan, Orland Kurtenbach and Jim McKenzie are also worth mentioning.
As an enforcer specifically? As in, just based on raw fighting ability? God, there are so many, and with the way fighting developed in the 90s and beyond, you have to compare relatively too, I think.
I think most people would be partial to John Ferguson.
Then you had Dave Brown, Bob Probert, Tony Twist, and then Georges Laraque... I don't even want to call Boogaard an enforcer... I don't know what he is. I think you have to somewhat be a hockey player to be an enforcer.
I didn't see there was a poll... looks like you named everyone that came to mind.
Based on fights I've seen, anecdotes and recorded W/L records... I think I have to go with Brown.
Were Schultz and Williams THAT tough? Seems to me they get extra credit for just being the most frequent fighters.
Check Dave Brown's Edmonton years on You Tube. He pummelled many tough guys into the ice - it was amazing how badly he beat down other enforcers.
Dave Brown was a bad, BAD man in his day. I once saw Brownie on the concourse in the Spectrum, and after a few beers, said to him, "Hey Brownie, you don't look so bad considering all the fights you've been in." His reply with a straight face, "I didn't lose much."
Schultz were tough and I really hated that guy but even I have to admit that he was an absolute beast when it came to fighting in his peak. Atleast thats what I remember. I found Tiger to be an overrated fighter though.
I will go with Probert (best from previous generation) and Laraque (best from last generation).
My HM is Brown.
Im torn, so no voting for me..
a tie between these two. (I think 'Taz' had more raw skill out of the two though)
Wait, are you asking who is the best fighter or who was the best at going bat**** insane and defending his teammates? I'd pick Laraque over a lot of those guys as a fighter but as an enforcer? He'd be close to dead last.
I think there needs to be a distinction made between enforcer and fighter. This would separate the Clark Gillies' from the Dave Schulz's. Schultz was a fighter not an enforcer. Gillies was an enforcer, not a fighter. The difference? Enforcers do not fight as much as the fighters. They contribute more to the team than just riding shotgun. Their reputation is such that their presence on the ice/game is enough to keep things under control. The mere threat of having to deal with the enforcer has an effect on its own. The first player to come to mind for me was Larry Robinson. He was an enforcer. He fought his fair share of fights early in his career. After he pounded Schultz to a pulp he wasn't challenged as much. His mere presence in the game was enough to stop other players from taking cheap shots at Lafleur, Shutt, etc...I would make similar arguments for Gillies, O'Reilly, Probert and Wendel Clark to name a few. Thoughts?
Good question. In this case, let's say "fighter". I am taking the "role" of the enforcer and the psychodynamics out of the equation. Who was the toughest, nastiest, SOB out of these guys when they were all at their best?
Is this really true? That's an honest question, BTW. There are so many debates about cheap shots and guys to act as deterrents. Was Robinson's presence really enough to make other guys think twice? Was this unique to him and maybe Semenko? Was it also a product of the era? Because there are guys in the league today who you would think would act as "deterrents" but I don't think they do.
there is not enough Tony Twist in this thread. He was the most feared fighter I have ever seen.
I agree, and I voted Twist. People wanted no parts of him. He killed dudes.
Let's be reality here for a second, "best enforcer" is an oxymoron.
Please end this.
In my books, Dave Brown.
Laraque has claim as well.
Certainly NOT Dave Schutlz.
Some great fighters can't be voted fore. Barry Beck and Serge Savard comes to mind.
Bob Probert. Schultz and Semenko second.
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