It’s rare that star players go head-to-head during a hockey fight in the NHL.
Stars rarely drop the gloves — to begin with — but there’s always a few exceptions.
Jonathan Toews threw down Friday night with Adam Henrique (not necessarily a star per se) but that’s hardly your typical NHL fight.
For good reason, fighting is decreasing across the game, but there’s still a handful of fans who enjoy a good tilt every now and again.
Here’s 10 memorable fights involving front-line players over the past 15 years:
Jarome Iginla vs. Vincent Lecavalier:
This was a rare one. Two highly-skilled captains going toe-to-toe in the heat of the battle of the 2004 Stanley Cup final.
Jonathan Toews vs. Joe Thornton
Friday wasn’t Toews’ first rodeo. He got into it with the long-time Sharks forward in February of 2013 and the two big Canadian centres got in some quality shots.
Ryan Kesler vs. Corey Perry:
Who would’ve figured these two would one day be teammates? Well, prior to Kesler’s trade to the Ducks the scrappy Amercian fought with Perry during a pre-season game. There must’ve been some built up tension because fights involving stars almost never happen in exhibition play.
Brandon Dubinsky vs. Sidney Crosby
Dubinsky might not be considered a star player, but any time Sidney Crosby is involved in a fight, it certainly qualifies as memorable. The Blue Jackets and Penguins had some bad blood from a prior playoff series and it must’ve got to the Pittsburgh captain. Crosby got in some good jabs before he pulled Dubinsky to the ice.
Alex Semin vs. Marc Staal
This was included on our list for pure entertainment purposes. Watch the clip below, as the two NHLers start legitimately slapping each other. It’s so bad that it’s good — like one of those bad movies you just can’t turn off.
Pavel Datsyuk vs. Corey Perry
Perry is a scrappy player, but it takes a special kind of pest to get Pavel Datsyuk to fight. In fact, the Red Wings legend has just two career NHL fights. You could see from the clip below that he lacks experience in the area. He seems to do more jersey pulling than punch throwing.
Jamie Benn vs. Jarome Iginla
Two of the best power forwards of the past two decades squared off in December of 2010. Benn was in just his second NHL season at the time so it took some stones to go head-to-head with the future Hall of Famer. Iginla and Benn both got in some heavy shots in a scrap that went back and forth.
Ryan Kesler vs. Shea Weber
USA vs. Canada! Forward vs. defenceman. What more could you want? Weber, who appeared to win the fight, clearly had some beef with Kesler, going after him while he was down. Kesler was never the most popular player.
Joe Thornton vs. Drew Doughty
The Sharks and Kings always have heated contests so it wasn’t a surprise when the team’s two most important players got into it at the Los Angeles bench. While Doughty got the last laugh later in future playoff series’s, Jumbo Joe definitely got the better of the Kings defenceman in this scrap.
Ryan Getzlaf vs. Shane Doan
Shane Doan is getting up there in age — at least in hockey terms — but the Coyotes captain isn’t one to back down from anything. So last March when Getzlaf threw the veteran forward down during a scrum in front of the net, Doan went right after the Ducks’ top centre. Both got in some shots before Doan landed on top of Getzlaf.