You can call it the intimidation factor. Or respect factor. But somewhere along the line these guys built an early reputation for themselves to the point where them just skating up to a player, or a pile, would automatically calm things down. Not that there is anything wrong with the guys who regularly dropped the mitts but many of the guys I am talking about were ones who were tough as nails but were still elite players in their own right. It is similar to a parent that doesn't need to spank their kids very often because the kid has already felt the wrath before and knows what to expect. So who are these players? Mark Messier - Rarely had to fight later in his career. Dropped the mitts early on a lot but that set the tone for his entire career. How do I know people feared Messier? Whenever he delivered a cheap shot people were scared to come after him. Clark Gillies - Kicked Dave Schultz's butt pretty good in 1975. Still fought after that, but his presence kept Mike Bossy safe. Larry Robinson - Didn't fight a lot in his career. Had a few early on and not many after. Robinson was feared, no doubt. Gordie Howe - Goes without saying. Often mentioned as being untouchable after pounding Lou Fontinato's face in 1959. Hockeyfights.com doesn't go before 1957, but after 1959 Howe played up until 1971 in the NHL and fought three times. That's it. Hard to believe but it's true. So the facts go in favour of the Fontinato story. Zdeno Chara - It took a while, but ever since that ragdoll on McCabe I've never personally thought of Chara the same. How can you just do that to a grown man, and not even a small one either? For whatever reason that isn't even on Chara or McCabe's fight card. Was it not a major penalty to either of them? Hard to imagine. But either way, ever since then (it was 2004 I believe) Chara has had more of a mystique about him and he has fought much less than he did earlier in his carer.