Here it is, folks, my collection of the best fights from each Canucks season, starting with 2005-06, since that was the first season where all clips are available on hockeyfights.com
I’ve included a link to watch each fight on hockeyfights.com, as well as a little blurb about why I picked it. Feel free to add your own!
Jarkko Ruutu vs Byron Ritchie
-It was always fun to watch Jarkko essentially get away with his antics due to his surprising fighting skills.
Kevin Bieksa vs Byron Ritchie
-The debut of Juice was a mighty one, with a one-sided beating that announced him as a true badass.
Ryan Kesler vs Jarome Iginla
-Also known as the night Ryan Kesler became a man. Young Kesler, sporting the number 20, took on the bigger and much more experienced Iginla, and more than held his own.
Ed Jovanovski vs Sean Avery
-How exciting was it to see the Jovocop get his hands on the much-hated Avery? How utterly disappointing was it to then see Avery do surprisingly well, with Jovo unable to land anything of significance.
Rick Rypien vs Ian Laperriere
-Could there be a better first shift in the NHL? Rypien lays a big hit, beats up a veteran scrapper, and shows off his ability to switch hands.
Kevin Bieksa vs JF Jacques
-I knew Jacques from my time following the AHL closely during the lockout. He was a pretty serious scrapper who had taken on heavyweights. When I saw Bieksa drop the gloves with him, I was worried…for about five seconds, at which point Bieksa began to pummel him mercilessly. The first taste of Juice’s ability to punch well above his weight class.
Willie Mitchell vs Jarome Iginla
-For awhile there, it seemed like the preferred way to become a Canuck fan favourite was to get in a fight with Jarome Iginla. Willie passed the test big time with this marathon bout.
2007-08 (68 fights total, most on record)
Taylor Pyatt vs Raitis Ivanans
-Pyatt proved he was more than just a pretty face by defending a Sedin, taking on one of the toughest heavyweights in the league, and actually winning!
Mike Weaver vs Curtis Glencross
-During an Oilers-Canucks slugfest, how inspiring was it to see miniature, balding Mike Weaver coming back to land some bombs on notorious ratface Curtis Glencross? Bonus points for Luc Bourdon (RIP) tying up Zack Stortini to protect Trevor Linden.
Rick Rypien vs OK Tollefsen
-This one was personal for me. On the old hockeyfights forums, there was a poster who claimed to have personally trained Tollefsen in Norway, and professed that he was tougher than any NHLer, including Georges Laraque and Donald Brashear. I had endless arguments with this buffoon. Watching my new favourite, Rick Rypien, lay a whooping on Tollefsen was cathartic.
2008-09 (62 total, another big year for fights)
Rick Rypien vs Brandon Prust
-This fight is retroactively more enjoyable after Prust’s failures in Vancouver. Rypien showed just how badly he could beat someone when he actually fought in his own weight class.
Jannik Hansen vs Matt Cooke, Alex Burrows vs Brooks Orpik, Ryan Kesler vs Tyler Kennedy http://www.hockeyfights.com/fights/49992
-The short-lived “kid line” of Hansen, Burrows, and Kesler brought a ton of energy to the lineup, and it’s expressed symbolically here as they team up to take on the old guard’s sparkplug, Matt Cooke.
Rick Rypien vs Zack Stortini
-This was the first time Rypien had taken on a legitimate enforcer, and once again I was worried for about five seconds until the punches started raining down. One of many beatdowns Stortini would receive at the hands of Rypien.
2009-10 (62 total again. Cappingoff the fightingest period in recent Canucks history)
Rick Rypien vs Hal Gill
-Okay, so Rypien could handle middleweights and heavyweights, but he couldn’t fight players that were literally a foot taller than him, could he? You bet he could. The legend of Rypien continued to grow.
Kevin Bieksa vs Mike Richards
-Two words: Superman punch. I loved the little mini-rivalry Bieksa and Richards had.
Rick Rypien vs Boris Valabik
-Look at Valabik literally looking down on Rypien and laughing at him. What sweet justice to see Valabik on his hands and knees turtling less than a minute later.
Rick Rypien vs Cam Janssen
-In Cam Janssen, Rypien was perhaps facing his biggest test yet. Janssen might not have the size of some of Rypien’s previous opponents, but he was renowned as one of the best technical fighters in the league. The result was an all-time classic slugfest that lasted way too long, which Rypien of course came out on top of.
Props For Trying:
Alex Bolduc vs John Scott
-See people? It is possible to hate John Scott. Bolduc had guts to even attempt fighting Scott, but it was incredibly demoralizing to see him get absolutely destroyed right in front of the benches.
Tanner Glass vs Brad Mills
-No, this isn’t Glass vs Liam Neeson in taken, but it is a great scrap by a player that I think takes too much flak from Canucks fans (and Rangers fans, currently).
Kevin Bieksa vs Aaron Voros
-Voros wants this fight so bad, and then he really, really doesn’t. An almost scary beating by Bieksa.
Tanner Glass vs Matt Martin
-Martin is a tough dude who always influences the game with his physicality, so it was both rewarding and surprising to see Glass put him down.
Aaron Volpatti vs Andy Sutton
-Volpatti had a great opening run of fights, including this doozy against long-time dirty-hit-thrower Andy Sutton, who now knows that Volpatti is an expert.
Dale Weise vs Nathan Horton
-Everyone was waiting for this game. You could cut the tension with a knife, and even though nothing major really came of it, this near-brawl featuring Weise’s frantic fight definitely needed to happen.
David Booth vs Mark Olver
-Booth looks like the only thing he ever fights are killer waves, but when push came to shove, he managed to throw some absolute bombs in this bout. To be totally fair, Olver is about three inches shorter and 60 pounds lighter than Booth. Still, he started it.
Aaron Volpatti vs Matt Beleskey
-Volpatti and Beleskey play rock ‘em sock ‘em robots for awhile, and then Beleskey’s head pops off.
Zack Kassian vs Antoine Roussel
-Kassian looked like an animal in this mauling of superpest Roussel. If only we saw more of this Kassian.
Tom Sestito vs Jordan Nolan
-Jordan Nolan has quietly made more of a negative impact against the Canucks than almost any enforcer in the league, so it was nice to see Tommy Boy give him a smackdown here. There’s more Nolan beatings to come.
Kevin Bieksa vs Brian Boyle
-I believe this is the biggest player Bieksa has ever fought. It doesn’t seem to make much of a difference, as Bieksa walks away the easy winner again.
Tom Sestito Jumps Jordan Nolan
-I know this will be divisive, but I loved this. If you’re going to bother having an enforcer on the team, they might as well do stuff like this when the Sedins are targeted. Nolan knew what was up, and had plenty of opportunity to defend himself. He chose to draw a penalty instead, and ate some punches. Good.
Ryan Kesler vs Dustin Brown
-If you’re anything like me, your anger at Kesler over his trade demands are slowly dissipating while watching some of these fights. Kesler was the heart and soul of the team, and taking on Big Bad Dustin Brown, who had been throwing Canucks around, was just awesome.
The Brouhaha, Tortorella vs Sanity
-None of the fights in this brawl were particularly great, but you have to include it for its sheer uniqueness. I always wonder though, why Jason Garrison? If Torts knew what was going down, Garrison was never much of a fighter. Why not throw a forward back on D or something?
Dan Hamhuis and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
-If you were taking bets on the first fight of the season for the Canucks, it’s safe to say nobody would go home with any money. What a random fight that turned out to be pretty entertaining.
Kevin Bieksa and Wayne Simmonds
-Sometimes being “Casual Kev” could be scary. The way Bieksa nonchalantly drops the gloves here before taking on a premier power forward is practically cinematic.
Derek Dorsett vs John Scott
-Like Bolduc, Dorsett deserves massive props for even bothering to take on John Scott. Unlike Bolduc, he manages to avoid completely embarrassing himself. There’s no way Dorsett’s teammates don’t respect the hell out of this.
Derek Dorsett vs Deryk Engelland x2
-A double fight, what does it mean?! Dorsett does so many cool things in this sequence. He ties up Engelland and prevents him from interfering in Richardson and Stajan’s fight, which allows Richardson to engage in the ground-and-pound. Dorsett then battles with the much larger Engelland for awhile, before Hamhuis somewhat bizarrely intervenes. Dorsett then sticks around, tying up Engelland and preventing him from landing anything significant on Hamhuis. After it’s all broken up, Engelland shoves Hamhuis, so Dorsett comes flying back in for Round Two, leading with a great right. What a boss.
Kevin Bieksa Jumps Michael Ferland
-Some people won’t like this one either, but whatever. Ferland totally deserved it, and this was a fine swan song for Bieksa in a Canucks uniform.
Andrey Pedan vs Jordan Nolan
-Pedan could certainly have picked a worse way to introduce himself to the Canuck faithful than by beating up Nolan.
Jake Virtanen vs Filip Forsberg
-Virtanen hasn’t shown himself to be the best fighter in the world, but at least he beat up fellow youngster Forsberg, which is a bit of symbolic payback for Peter Forsberg stealing the scoring title from Naslund. Yes, I know they’re not even related, that’s why it’s symbolic.
Andrey Pedan vs Michael Haley
-Haley is a bit of a doofus who seems to only get called up to cause trouble and go after people, so it was nice to see Pedan put him in his place. It’s also kind of funny to watch Haley’s thought process here. “Oh, Pedan’s going to crush my teammate. I better get over there and fight him. Oh, he let up on the hit and it wasn’t much of anything at all. Oh well, I’m gonna fight him anyway.”
That’s all, folks. Hope you enjoyed! I’ll keep this hosted at https://hockeytalkie.wordpress.com if you ever want to watch through again.