The National Hockey League has a long history of great hockey players, games, and franchises. Some of the most memorable moments come from the NHL fights between players and teams outside of the games. If you are wondering why fighting is allowed in hockey, you should check out that link. Here are some of the best bench-clearing brawls and best hockey fights between teams in the history of the NHL.
2020: Edmonton Oilers vs. Calgary Flames
After a hard hit by a Calgary player into Zack Kassian (Oilers), Zack was ready to fight. He quickly grabbed a Calgary Flames player from behind and ragdoll him to the ice with multiple punches thrown afterwards. The refs had to come in to dissolve the situation promptly, but Zack Kassian made his presence known not to hit him cheaply into the boards ever again.
2019: Calgary Flames vs. Arizona Coyotes
The line brawl between the Flames and Cotyles in 2019 is one of the craziest fights to take place on the ice. After one of the Flames players cross-checked a Coyote player on the ground, both teams began fighting. The line brawl started when the Coyotes goaltender threw a Flame’s player down to the ice rink, and all hell broke loose between both sides.
2014: Chicago Blackhawks vs. St. Louis Blues
During a game against the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues in 2014, a major fight took place in the third period. After Seabrook (Blackhawks) checked David Backes (Blues) into the wall, both teams began fighting. The Blues’ player, David Backes, was struck so hard that he could not stand up on his skates while he was getting mocked.
2013: Washington Capitals vs. Philadelphia Flyers
If you are looking for one of the best goalie fights of all time, you’ve found it. During a game against the Capitals and Flyers, the goalies (Ray Emery and Braden Holtby) got into a fight. Ray Emery, of the Philadelphia Flyers, won the fight between the two goalies.
2007: Boston Bruins vs. Chicago Blackhawks
After a shot on the goalie, Zdeno Chara and David Koci got into a one on one fight. Blood began pouring out of Kochi’s forehead from the battle, which immediately had the refs break up the fight. The competition was no match at all for Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins. The fans at TD Garden were loving every second of the fight of their favorite player, Chara.
2004: Ottawa Senators vs. Philadelphia Flyers
Trouble between the Ottawa Senators and Philadelphia Flyers began with two straight years of Ottawa sending the Flyers home via the playoffs. During a game in March of 2004 with two minutes left, a brawl took place between Donald Brashear (Flyers) and Rob Ray of the Senators. Not only did the fight take place on the ice, but it also took place after the game in the clubhouse. Flyers’ GM (General Manager) Bobby Clarke tried to get into the Senators clubhouse to fight the coach, but the refs were able to stop that from happening.
2004: Ottawa Senators vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
The fight between the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs is best known for Zdeno Chara and what he did. Zdeno Chara completely lifted Bryan McCabe (Leafs) off the ground during the fight and threw punches immediately. The battle between the two individuals was swift, and Zdeno Chara made quick work of his opponent like he does with most of his fights.
2001: Calgary Flames vs. Anaheim Ducks
The fight between the two teams took place when a Calgary Flames player crashed into the Anaheim Ducks goalie while going after the puck. Quickly a Ducks player defended his goalie, and a brawl promptly took place between all the players. Later on in the game, a Ducks player crashed in the Flames goalie, and another fight took place in the game.
2000: Vancouver Canucks vs. Boston Bruins
Throughout the game between the two teams, Marty McSorley (Bruins) and Donald Brashear (Canucks) got into a fight early in the game, which Brashear won. Late in the game, Marty McSorley hit Brashear in the head with his stick, which resulted in a grade three concussion. McSorley’s cheap hit resulted in an indefinite suspension and charged with assault with a deadly weapon.
1997: Detroit Red Wings vs. Colorado Avalanche
The 1997 brawl between the Detroit Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche began a year earlier in the Western Conference Finals in 1996. Colorado Avalanche right-winger, Claude Lemieux, pushed Kris Draper hard into the board, which resulted in him leaving the game with a broken jaw. The Colorado Avalanche would later beat the Detroit Red Wings in this series, but the Red Wings would get their revenge in 1997.
During a game in 1997 between the two teams, a brawl took place with all players involved. The fight got so bad between one of the Avalanche players, the goalie came out to fight as well, which led to an all-out brawl. This fight between the two teams catapulted the Detroit Red Wings momentum to win the Stanley Cup Final in 1997.
1994: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Detroit Red Wings
One of the most prolonged and uninterrupted fights in NHL history occurred on February 4th, 1994, against the Penguins and Red Wings. The battle took place between Bob Probert (Red Wings) and Penguins’ enforcer, Marty McSorley, and it lasted 90 seconds. As the fight between the two kept going, both men eventually had too much exhaustion and had the refs separate the two.
1984: Quebec Nordiques vs. Montreal Canadiens
Known as the Good Friday Massacre, this fight between Quebec and Montreal was an all-out Canada brawl. During a playoff game between the two teams, both teams got in numerous battles. There were 252 penalty minutes issued along with ten players ejected for their actions in the fights.
1979: New York Rangers vs. Boston Bruins
During an ice hockey game against the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins, a Rangers Fan struck a Bruins’ player by leaning over the ice. The situation quickly escalated with the Bruins going into the stands to fight the Rangers fan who hit one of their own. After the fight took place, there were plenty of fines and suspensions. Along with the fines, the NHL raised the protective glass heigh to discourage this behavior again.
Above were some of the best hockey fights of all time between NHL teams. As you can see above, NHL fights can occur between rivals when they match up, while other battles can take place from a big hits in the game. Whatever the reason is, NHL fighting is part of the game, and sometimes are more memorable than the game itself. Easily the craziest fight has to be when the Bruins and Rangers went into the stands to fight, however.