Very interesting, but unfortunately it's the last post by Georges Laraque:
The toughest guy in the East is Donald Brashear, hands down. He's the king and has been for years. Pound for pound the toughest guys are Riley Cote and Chris Neil.
And in the West, the toughest guy is Derek Boogaard and the toughest pound for pound is hands down Cam Janssen.
Donald Brashear has been the king of the tough guys for years.
What might surprise some people is that the mental part of fighting can sometimes be tougher than the physical part. A lot of the time, fighting starts a couple days before the actual game. You look at the schedule and get really worked up because you have a game against a team that has a top tough guy and mentally that's tough. You think about the guy, you watch his fight on YouTube, you try to tell yourself it's going to be okay but it's not. No one can ever understand this pressure unless you're a fighter yourself.
I used to feel that way in my first couple years. I used to not be able to sleep before games and I would sweat in the afternoon. It was not a good feeling. Sometimes I was even praying that the other guy -- or even me -- would be scratched so the fight wouldn't happen.
The Code is unwritten -- everyone knows it, but not everyone follows it, and those who don't are not respected. When you retire, respect is all you have left, and you want people to say that you were honourable at all times. At least I do.
The Code says things like:
- not fighting a guy at the end of his shift
- not jumping guys to get a head start
- never punch a guy when he's down (that's the most important thing for me; players -- and referees -- know I never do)
- and, especially, don't celebrate after a fight. You see that stuff a lot in junior hockey, but for guys who do it in the NHL, it's embarrassing and shows no respect for the other guy. Remember that everything you do comes back to you; you do that, it will happen to you because everyone is watching and talking!
As we can see the code has been violated all the time, Brashear does some celebrations, but only if he is really mad. Crosby just jumped the the other guy and Semin hammer fisted Staal when he was down... The only excuse for the last two is that they are not the fighters.