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Discussion Starter #1
Found the following on Global TV's website,

Jody Shelley drops them like no one else but Worrell truly the NHL's best

Canadian Press
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

(CP) - Jody Shelley insists he has a way to go before he considers himself among the NHL's elite tough guys, but the numbers don't lie.

The Columbus Blue Jackets enforcer led all NHLers last season in fighting majors and penalty minutes. "I think I still have a lot of work to do," Shelley says. "Last year was just the tip of the iceberg. I don't think I've proved nearly enough."

The 27-year-old from Yarmouth, N.S., dropped the gloves every 2.5 games last season, making him the busiest among tough guys who played over 50 games.

"Last year was positive for me," says Shelley. "We're in a division where a lot of the guys are willing to go. And there were a lot of games when we were down early and I had chances to fight. It was great for me.

"I had a great opportunity for me to get out there and see what I could do and see where I fit in. Last year was awesome."

Entering his third NHL season, Shelley says it still hasn't sunk in that he's made it to the big league after a fight-filled career that included stops with the AHL's Syracuse Crunch, the ECHL's Johnston Chiefs, the AHL's Saint John Flames and the Quebec League's Halifax Mooseheads.

"Just being here, an enforcer in the NHL, is definitely a dream come true," Shelley said. "I used to look up to guys like Bob Probert and Marty McSorley.

"It's nice to try and follow in their footsteps. Not a lot of people understand what we're doing. It's different."

No argument there.


Here's a look at CP's top-10 list of NHL tough guys with last season's fighting majors, penalty minutes and 2003-04 salary (in U.S. dollars) with comments from Shelley and Hockey Night In Canada's Don Cherry.

1. Peter Worrell, Colorado, 19 fighting majors, 193 PIMs, $800,000.

The 6-7, 235-pounder from Montreal got shipped to the Avalanche this summer and will now be asked - a la Dave Semenko in the old Oilers days - to protect the multi-million dollar six-pack of Joe Sakic, Paul Kariya, Teemu Selanne, Peter Forsberg, Milan Hejduk and Alex Tanguay.

Shelley: "He's definitely the tallest and if you can't get in tight on him you're in trouble. He's one of those guys that really uses the length of his arms."

Cherry: "He's just so big, he's tough to get to."

2. Georges Laraque, Edmonton, 14 fighting majors, 110 PIMs, $1.275 million.

OK, so he doesn't fight as much as the other guys but that's because he's a third-line player with actual skill so we shouldn't discourage that. Many feel the 6-3, 250-pound Montreal native is the most feared fighter in the league.

Shelley: "He's the biggest and strongest, I'd say."

Cherry isn't sold: "Georges is a reluctant fighter, though. He really doesn't want to fight. He fights because he has to fight. He'd rather play the game."

3. Shelley, Columbus, 27 fighting majors, 249 PIMs, $600,000.

The 6-4, 225-pounder has worked hard at forging his reputation, taking on all the big boys every chance he gets.

Shelley on himself: "I'd say I'm a gamer. I don't mind taking punches. I don't just look for the big one, I try to stand in there and compete with the guys. I just try to be the last guy standing."

Shelley said he wasn't sure fans would understand when he said he didn't mind taking punches but Cherry knew right away.

"What he means is he doesn't duck his head, he stands right in there and holds his head up. That's how you win. The guys that lose fights big are the first guys to put their heads down when they fight. Where as Shelley just stands there. When you don't care whether you get hit, that's when you win."

4. Reed Low, St. Louis, 20 fighting majors, 234 PIMs, $700,000.

Third-year NHL brawler from Moose Jaw, Sask., had career highs in majors and penalty minutes last year and further cemented his place among the league's top fighters. The 6-4, 218-pounder has a vicious knockout punch.

Shelley: "He's a gamer, he's fought everyone. He's willing to go."

5. Tie Domi, Toronto, 13 fighting majors, 171 PIMs, $2 million.

Domi, who turns 34 on Nov. 1, doesn't fight as much anymore but remains as feared as ever. He deserves credit for improving as a hockey player over the years.

Shelley: "Tie Domi, what can you say? He's the man. All of those guys (on the list) are trying to be like him. He's fought everyone for years and years and now he's developed into a player that you can put on the second or third line."

Domi is Cherry's favourite.

"I don't think I've ever seen him lose a fight," Cherry said. "The big thing with Domi is you can't hurt him. He just never gets hurt.

"I've seldom ever seen in all my years a guy who never loses a fight. Stan Jonathan would probably be the other."

6. Eric Boulton, Buffalo, 17 fighting majors, 178 PIMs, $550,000.

Among the league's smallest tough guys at six feet and 220 pounds, but the Halifax native ranked fifth in NHL fighting majors despite appearing in only 58 games. Established franchise record in Charlotte of ECHL in 1996-97 with 325 PIMs in only 44 games.

Shelley: "He's not the biggest guy but he's feisty and willing to go."

7. Andrei Nazarov, Phoenix, 21 fighting majors, 135 PIMs, $675,000.

The Russian continues to prove that you don't have to be from this side of the ocean to be an NHL enforcer. The 6-5, 224-pounder was second in the league in fighting majors last season.

No comment from Cherry.

8. Matt Johnson, Minnesota, 15 fighting majors, 201 PIMs, $1.165 million.

The native of Welland, Ont., probably doesn't get to fight as much as he wants because the Wild are constantly involved in close games, cutting his ice time down. But the 6-5, 232-pounder is a terror on ice.

9. Chris Neil, Ottawa, 15 fighting majors, 147 PIMs, $575,000.

The 6-1, 215-pound native of Flesherton, Ont., does a good job of protecting his team's all-star lineup. Also doesn't look out of place on any forward line, a decent skater and adequate passer.

10. Donald Brashear, Philadelphia, 11 fighting majors, 161 PIMs, $2.25 million.

The 31-year-old veteran dropped to 22nd in majors last season. The 6-3, 230-pound native of Bedford, Ind., is trying to become a regular contributor, not just an enforcer.

Cherry says he's a tough as Worrell.
I thought I should start the thread here because there might be some heated debate about who really is the top fighter.

Considering Worrell played for Florida the last few years, I haven't seen much of him in action except for when he is in trouble with the league. I know Brashear is tough, Domi can be tough, Laraque is a scary guy and Reed Low is tough. My sentimental favourite is Mario Lemieux for the pounding he gave to a Florida Panther player last season.

It will be interesting to see Worrell and Laraque face off this season.

1,484 Posts
I completely agree what tehy said about Laraque. He's a nice guy, although the may not seem that way on the ice. "Domi is Cherry's favourite ... haha.

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Discussion Starter #4
Canadian_Oilers_Hockey said:
Laraques is feared by many. Remeber when he made Hatcher run to the bench in cowardly fear? That was awesome. The reason he doesn't fight much is because no one wants to go with him.
I don't think Worrell will be hiding in the dressing room. I expect a doozie of a fight when the Oilers and Avs meet for the first time this season.
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