Edward Fraser of The Hockey News put together a list of "10 of the NHL's top pugilists." Since they're not in alphabetical order, is this the top 10? Well, there are no numbers, and he writes "10 of the top." The top what? Fifty? How annoying and completely non-committal.
Equally as irksome: The criteria seems to change for each selection. Which leads to some puzzling omissions.
David Clarkson of the New Jersey Devils makes the cut because he "fits into the more-than-just-a-fighter category"; Riley Cote of the Philadelphia Flyers is on the list despite the fact that he "can't do anything but chuck."
You can't dispute all of it: Milan Lucic, Georges Laraque, Jared Boll, George Parros, Daniel Carcillo and Zack Stortini should all make anyone's list. Puck That Hit takes issue Sean Avery making the list and with Zdeno Chara's selection (the David Koci bloodying last season was impressive, but isn't that like making Bernard Pollard out to be Ronnie Lott for the Brady hit?).
If Cote makes the list, fine. But how can you not make room for Donald Brashear and Derek Boogaard? If you want to claim the Minnesota Wild enforcer has lost something on his fastball, his winning percentage doesn't show it. Hell, he teaches kids how to beat the crap out of people. He's like the Sensei Kreese of Cobra Kai dojo, only instead of sweeping the leg you're putting the foil on.
And Brashear? Again, perhaps his best days of pugilism are behind him, but he's still one of the most intimidating bodyguards in the NHL and wins more than he loses. Who else is taking this kind of punishment from BGL and hanging in there?