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Old 11-29-2012, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by srehm1 View Post
Then how do we explain the early woes of Grimson, Brashear, Ray, Cairns, McSorley-all of them became great fighters. A few of them can even claim to have been champ at some point in their respective careers. All of the above fought all the way through juniors/minors and sometimes against the same fighters they would later face in the NHL. Many struggled with physical issues-McSorley was very lean in those first few years in pittsburgh and perhaps not up to snuff against stronger seasoned veteran NHL heavies. Grimson was noted for his iffy balance when he first broke in-yet after working on it and getting better and better-he became a top-10 fighter for a number of years. Cairns left his chin hanging right out there in those early years providing an easy target for opponents. Brash was a hugger with scared eyes-he later went on to become a dominant force in the league and a lock as a top-5 all-timer. If you told me this when he first broke in with montreal-I would have laughed in your face. i never would have imagined he could accomplish that considering the way he looked early in his career. Ray stated in his book that his infamous fight with Dave brown-with that big stunning right hand-gave him the confidence he needed to become a better fighter.

these are all examples of fighters who had slow starts to their careers-yet they went on to become great fighters. Not everyone is in their prime when they first break into the league. Some are great right off the bat like McCarthy, Wilson, Simon, Laraque, Mckenzie etc. Some need more experience-more fights, more trainining, more confidence in themselves. Sure they almost all were fighting in juniors or the AHL/minors-but they weren't fighting NHL HW's.

I look at every fighter as being different. Everyone of them hits their peak at different times and begin to fade out at different times. It's all out there for us to see. No way was McCarthy the same fighter in Boston that he was in Calgary. Brashear was a totally different animal entirely with VAN/PHI/WAS than he was in Montreal. You simply cannot say that they are all the same from start to finish. that's painting with too broad a brush. Sure they were all fighting from day 1 in juniors but in juniors you are taking on 16, 17, 18 year olds-kids still growing into their bodies-not prime time NHL veterans.

I'd also say that probert wasn't the champ from day one either. he had some growing pains as well (berube, ewen, fraser)-yet learned and gained in experience/confidence with every fight until he hit his prime in 87-88.
I see it differently, no disrespect to your thoughtful and well reasoned post. In my view it is more to do with CONFIDENCE - obviously all these dudes had the inate ability..I mean what did Gillies have to fear from Wilson? same size Gillies could bang, what then? Why does not a Bob Nystrom intercede and challenge Brown? I'm sure they did not need a few more bouts under their belts to learn the ins and outs of the fight game. Rather, once the light goes on in their heads that Hey! Eureka! they are just human beings like me!
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the decision that something else is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all." Fear always springs from ignorance."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Last edited by BaddaBing Badda Boom; 11-29-2012 at 10:41 AM.
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