Our weekly tradition continues as we countdown the Top 5 greatest Oiler fights of all time as voted by you fine citizens of The Nation! Who will make the cut? Who will be left off? Which of the answers to the aforementioned questions will piss you off the most? We’re about to find out.
#5) LUKE GAZDIC VS BRIAN MCGRATTAN
Say what you will about Luke Gazdic, but the boy can chuck em. After being snatched from the Stars on waivers Luke Gazdic has taken on the role of the Oilers’ patrolman, and he’s done a pretty great job of it. Picking only one Gazdic fight was tough because he’s been in some great tussles, but this beauty against Brian McGrattan deserved a shout out. This is the type of face punchery that the Battle of Alberta is all about, and it’s a great way to kick off our countdown. The stats folks may not like Gazdic, but the caveman in me certainly does.
#4) NUGEY BATTLES HIS ELDER
Who saw this coming? I don’t just mean Nugey making our all-time fights list but seeing him scrap in general. I have to say, I was proud of the little guy for standing his ground and dropping the mitts. Sure, Dan Hamhuis isn’t exactly a heavyweight but he was taking shots at Nuge and our beloved little man didn’t back down one step. I don’t think we’ll see much of this from Nugent-Hopkins in the future, but I appreciated the way he tried to make space for himself. Nuge initiated the fight, held his own, and was rewarded with Dunkaroos when it was over. All in all that’s a fine night’s work for the world’s greatest twelve year old, and I salute all of you that voted for Nuge to make this list. Happy sunshine stickers for all of you!
#3) MIKE BISHAI IN THE FOXHOLE
For those of you that don’t remember Mike Bishai being an Oiler this fight will forever cement him in your mind. How can you not love a guy getting into the other team’s bench and chuckin’ the business around like he’s running the show? I love this fight and I’m actually surprised that it didn’t go higher in our countdown. Not only does Mike Bishai end up in the Thrasher’s bench, everyone else on the ice scraps too and that’s including the goalies! For a guy that played 14 games in the NHL it’s pretty fantastic to think that Bishai would (read: should) make our all-time fights list. That’s making an impression if I’ve ever seen it!
#2) DAVE SEMENKO VS TIM HUNTER… THEN EVERYBODY ELSE FIGHTS TOO
This fight is the Battle of Alberta in a nutshell… at least in the 80s anyway. How awesome is it to watch a scrap between two heavyweights only to have that turn into everyone around them fighting as well? That’s old school hockey, man! If I didn’t know better I would swear that was a scene from Slapshot (to all you youngins – Slapshot is a movie and you should look it up). I want to know how many times one fight turned into bench brawls back in the day? Has to be millions, right? Okay so maybe I’m exaggerating but I still can’t help but wonder how many people that used to go to hockey games only went for the fights that were certain to break out? Regardless, these two legends (and eventually everyone else) punched years off their lives and are certainly deserving of a spot in our Top 5.
#1) STEVE MACINTYRE ENDS RAITIS IVANANS
This fight is absolutely terrifying to me. Despite Steve MacIntyre not really having any hockey skills to speak of he could chuck fists at an all world level. This fight literally ended Raitis Ivanans’ year with the Flames and it was the first game of the season. If you look at his HockeyDB page it shows one game played with five minutes in PIMs – that’s it. Fighting MacIntyre was serious business and it took a man with Muttart sized balls to fight him. For a while I wondered if Ivanans would ever play again, and I was happy to see that he seems to have found a place in the KHL. Steve MacIntyre wasn’t here for a long time, but he caused a lot of bad times for opponents with those meat hammers of his.
Did we miss any obvious players? Mess up the order? Just want to waste company time complaining before the weekend? Let us hear it in the comments! Be sure to watch out for next week’s vote on our Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages. I also want to give a big shout out to HockeyFights.com for providing all the clips for our countdown. Make sure to follow them on Twitter and Instagram, or you may wind up on the wrong end of a haymaker!