Earlier this year, I use chess' ELO ratings to evaluate the league's best fighters over the last three seasons using the user votes from hockeyfights.com. I decided to expand that to the last four seasons and update the results through January 1st. Here are the results since the lockout:
One of the advantages of ELO is that a guy like Godard, who has fought the guys above him 18 times, isn't penalized for taking on the top tough guys in the league and winning outright just 30% of the time. McGrattan didn't make this list before the season started, but he's had a great year, going 6-2-2 against a solid set of heavyweights.
Here are the "infrequent" fighters - guys with a bit too much skill to justify having them in the penalty box:
(In case you were wondering, I had Lucic in the heavyweight group before; he may still fight now that he's back in the lineup, but I would imagine not as frequently.) And finally, the up-and-comers, guys who fight a lot, fight well, and have yet to play 82 games in the NHL:
We're well aware of Rypien's rise to beating his first top ten heavyweight (Janssen), but John Scott has yet to get his due after handily dispatching George Parros, David Koci and Joel Rechlicz. Most opponents lack the reach to even land a shot on him. Scott's one of those defensemen who so lacks a scoring touch that he has less than 40 points since he was in high school (he's 27 now) so it remains to be seen if he can stick in the league long enough to become a really big brawler.