Staple's best goalie fighters
The rare goalie scrap between Rick DiPietro and Brent Johnson got Arthur Staple thinking about his favorite goalie fighters in recent memory.
10, tie) RICK DiPIETRO, ISLANDERS and BOB FROESE, FLYERS/RANGERS
Froese had only 90 career penalty minutes and two career fights, but both of those came in an 11-day span with the Rangers in the 1986-87 season, when Froese's 56 PIMs set a Rangers goalie record. DiPietro (129 career PIMs) gets in too for being the most willing current goalie to fight, if we can call his one-punch KO at Brent Johnson's hands a fight.
Video: DiPietro vs. Montoya | DiPietro vs. Johnson | Froese vs. Kleisinger
9) PATRICK ROY, AVALANCHE
The Hall of Famer was always willing to fight, even if he usually got his behind kicked in the process. During the great Avalanche-Wings rivalry of the 1990s, Roy (262 career PIMs) fought Wings goaltenders Chris Osgood and Mike Vernon; he didn't really win either, but high marks for getting involved.
Video: Roy vs. Vernon | Roy vs. Osgood
8) CLINT MALARCHUK, NORDIQUES/SABRES
Before the grisly skate accident in 1990 that cut short his career, Malarchuk (134 PIMs) was a battler. He earns marks for fighting skaters, including the Isles' Duane Sutter in the 1986-87 season. His fight with the Habs' Richard Sevigny in the 1984 Battle of Quebec playoff series is a classic.
Video: Malarchuk vs. Sevigny
7) GLEN HANLON, CANUCKS/RANGERS
Former Ranger netminder never had a regular-season fight in his three seasons in New York, but he was feisty in his younger days and recorded four fighting majors and 237 PIMs. Kudos for fighting noted enforcer Tiger Williams as a rookie in the 1978-79 season.
Video: Hanlon vs. Myhre
6) DAN BOUCHARD, JETS/FLAMES/NORDIQUES
Perhaps it was all the lousy teams he played on in a 14-season career but Bouchard liked to mix it up, with 243 career PIMs and four recorded fights, including a playoff bout with Flyers goalie Rick. St. Croix in the 1981 postseason.
Video: Bouchard vs. Hunter
5) DAN CLOUTIER, RANGERS/CANUCKS
Not much of a career, but boy, did this kid love to fight. He made his name as a Ranger by flying out of his crease and pummeling the Isles' Tommy Salo at the end of the 1998 season, then challenging the entire Islander bench. Finished a journeyman's career with 147 PIMs in just 351 appearances.
Video: Cloutier vs. Salo | Cloutier vs. Passmore | Cloutier vs. Gauthier
4) RAY EMERY, SENATORS/FLYERS
The MMA came along a bit too late for the feisty Emery, who is trying to come back to the NHL after two seasons away. He fought in juniors, in the minors and often in the NHL -- he even fought the team trainer during a season in Russia. Only has 42 career PIMs, but his fighting prowess is legend.
Video: Emery vs. Biron, Peters | Emery vs. Gratton (minors)
3) GARTH SNOW, FLYERS/ISLANDERS/PENGUINS/CANUCKS
The current Islanders GM was never a mild-mannered, office type when he played. May be the only goaltender in recent NHL history suspended for a fight; he flew out of his crease and blind-sided Panthers enforcer Peter Worrell while with the Penguins in 2000, earning a two-game ban. He fought as a Flyer (regular season and playoffs), a Penguin, a Canuck and an Islander, and finished his career with 190 PIMs.
Video: Snow vs. Shields | Snow vs. Barnaby, Trefilov
2) RON HEXTALL, FLYERS/ISLANDERS/NORDIQUES
The standard-bearer for goalies who think they're regular players. He was known for scoring a goal in the 1987-88 season, but he also recorded over 100 PIMs in each of his first three seasons, and his 584 career PIMs is a record that won't be touched by a goaltender. To think he and Snow shared goaltending duties for the Flyers during their 1997 Stanley Cup final run. . .
Video: Hextall vs. Potvin | Hextall vs. Chevrier | Hextall vs. Pearson
1) BILLY SMITH, ISLANDERS
He has no equal as a fighter -- they didn't add "Battlin'" to any other goaltender's name. He rarely fought other goalies, actually, preferring to hack at and thrown down with opposing players who ventured too close. Has 21 recorded fighting majors, including one in the 1983 Finals against the Oilers' Dave Lumley. His 489 PIMs are only second all-time for goalies, but there was plenty more that went uncalled.
Video: Smith vs. Mulvey