It's easy for the media, me*, and the rest of the fans to tell you who they they think the best fighters in the NHL are. We follow players from the juniors to the pros, watching every bout.
We judge: win, lose, draw. We rate entertainment. We give reviews, and theory about how that fight may have affected the game, if at all. Does he have balance, power, is he even willing to go when he should — another subjective view thrown in.
It's a different view at ice-level. Brian McGrattan, who I consider the top heavyweight in the league, gave me his top five. His simple criteria: "Fighting ability. Wins and losses, or activity, mean shit to me."