Who among the Nashville Predators would teammates least like to fight? They give their answers

Michael McCarron lumbered into the Nashville Predators locker room after a recent practice, traded "hellos" and "how are yous?" with locker room attendant Craig "Partner" Baugh, then dropped his gloves on to the bench in front of his stall.

McCarron, who stands 6-foot-6 without skates and weighs 232 pounds, knows a thing or two about dropping his gloves and trading hellos.

The 28-year-old forward has 30 regular-season and preseason fights on his résumé, according to He has taken on some of the league's heavyweights, including Zack MacEwen, Matt Martin and Patrick Maroon, since playing his first NHL game in December 2015.

But there's one player McCarron has been hesitant to scrap with: Luke Schenn.

After a seven-second pause, that was the name McCarron gave when he was asked which teammate he'd least like to fight.

"Big boy, heavy, hard to handle," McCarron said. "We've had run-ins before, that's for sure."

But the two have never actually fought.

Schenn counts 87 fights on his ledger during his 16-year career. He and McCarron, otherwise known as "Big Sexy," share many of the same names on their fight cards.

Being out of sight — Schenn has played just one game with the Predators this season because of an injury — doesn't equal being out of mind among his teammates.

"He's a big lefty and he's a tough guy," said forward Cole Smith, who was chosen by Jeremy Lauzon as the person he'd least like to fight.

"Western boy toughness," said backup goalie Kevin Lankinen, who has never been in a goalie fight but admitted he's "thought about it."

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When confronted with that same question, forward Kiefer Sherwood scratched his head, took inventory of the locker room and pondered.

"Probably 'Smitty' or 'Schenner,' " Sherwood said. "Those are the most popular answers, right?"

Sherwood, who has fought six times, was wrong. "Smitty" aka Cole Smith, and "Schenner," otherwise known as Schenn, were mentioned, yes.

Then it hit Sherwood with the might of a McCarron uppercut.

"Oh, 'Big Mac,' Big Mac," he said. "He's a different weight class but he's a big softie."

Defenseman Tyson Barrie, whose has had six fights in his 13-year career, concurred.

"Big Mac," he said without hesitation. "He's like twice my size. I think he would quite frankly pummel me."

Predators captain Roman Josi (two career fights), who also answered McCarron: "I don't think I'd stand a chance."

With noted tough guy Tanner Jeannot no longer on the roster, the title of toughest Predator became available.

McCarron on fighting: 'It needs to stay in the game for sure'

Which brings us back to McCarron, a first-round pick by the Montreal Canadiens in the 2013 NHL Draft who has played in just 161 NHL games in seven seasons.

His best season was 2021-22, when he set career standards in games (51), goals (7) and assists (7).

While the traditional role of enforcer is a long-gone concept in the NHL, McCarron believes there's still room for fighting in the league. He said it can build team camaraderie, hold players accountable. He said he understands there are dangers involved.

"It keeps people from doing unnecessary things," he said. "For example, you have (Ryan) Reaves on the Maple Leafs and someone takes a run at (Mitch) Marner. He's going to come talk to you.

"I think it needs to stay in the game for sure."

McCarron's first NHL fight was March 2, 2016.

His opponent?

Kevin Bieksa, who had 80 fights in his 13-year career.

Bieksa was the first name that came out of McCarron's mouth when asked who his toughest opponent has been.

"Everyone is tough in their own way," McCarron said. "There's tons of guys in this league. I have never fought (Milan) Lucic or Reaves. Those two guys are the toughest guys in the NHL."

McCarron paused.

"But hey, if it needs to happen, it needs to happen," he said.

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This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Who is the toughest guy on Nashville Predators? Teammates make picks