The intensity of a professional hockey game is difficult to explain to anyone who hasn’t experienced it for themselves. The atmosphere is rowdy with loyal fans screaming their lungs out to cheer on their beloved teams. If you think this sounds like the perfect situation for fights to break out between rivals — you’re right. Well, you’re half-right. See, the majority of fights during hockey games actually don’t involve the fans. Almost all fights take place on the ice between the opposing players. But wait, here’s the clincher — it’s NOT against the rules.
In professional sports, there are many activities that are considered to be illegal conduct such as match fixing, point shaving, gambling, and in some cases, fighting. The NHL’s code of conduct, however, condones on-ice fights, and these scuffles have become iconic in the world of professional hockey. For many years, it was believed that an unwritten secret code existed between players, coaches, and officials about fighting, but it turns out the code isn’t as top-secret as people thought.
Code or no code, hockey fanatics love when players fight because it’s entertaining. Whether it’s a small scuffle or a team brawl, fans expect to see fighting during every game, and some fans even attend games solely for that reason. The New York Rangers are no exception, and the Blueshirts have topped the charts for league fights during many seasons. Check out these 10 epic on-ice Rangers fights!
1. Rangers vs. Avalanche — 2009
Rangers player, Paul Mara winds up to punch Colorado Avalanche player, Darcy Tucker, during a home game at New York City’s Madison Square Garden on February 28, 2009.
2. Rangers vs. Canadiens — 2010
Infamous for fighting on and off the ice, Rangers’ Sean Avery punches Josh Gorges of the Montreal Canadiens during their game on January 17, 2010.
3. Rangers vs. Bruins — 2010
Former player, Brandon Prust, was one of the Rangers’ most frequent fighters. Here he is sucker-punching Boston Bruins player Milan Lucic during an away game in Toronto on October 23, 2010.
4. Rangers vs. Devils — 2010
Here’s Prust, at it again, with New Jersey Devils player Bradley Mills during a home game on September 23, 2010.
5. Rangers vs. Capitals — 2009
#34 Aaron Voros flashes a devilish grin as he shoves Matt Bradley of the Washington Capitals during a home game on November 17, 2009 at Madison Square Garden.
6. Rangers vs. Flyers — 2010
Of course, Sean Avery has to make a second appearance on our list. Here he is mid-scuffle with Scott Hartnell of the Philadelphia Flyers on March 14, 2010.
7. Rangers vs. Devils — 2012
Rangers’ captain Ryan Callahan takes a straight shot at New Jersey Devils player, Ilya Kovalchuck.
8. Rangers vs. Senators — 2012
An official intervenes an on-ice wrestling match between Rangers’ Brian Boyle and Ottawa Senators’ Erik Karlsson during their April 15th game.
9. Rangers vs. Penguins — 2012
Rangers’ Stu Bickel prepares to land one on Pittsburgh Penguins player, Eric Tangradi during their January 19th home game at Madison Square Garden.
10. Rangers vs. Panthers — 2013
Rangers’ John Moore rips off the helmet of Florida Panthers player, Jack Skille on April 18, 2013.
As you can tell, the Rangers are not afraid to get down and dirty on the ice. They respect their fans, and they want to entertain them. What better way to do that than winning the game and throwing a few punches while they’re at it?
Have YOU ever seen an epic on-ice fight? Let us know in the comments!
Author bio: Ashley Welter is a blogger and sports fanatic from San Diego, and she loves the thrill of a good game. She enjoys writing about sports, crime, relationships, safety tips, and more. Catch updates on her latest blog posts on Twitter.