Brian McGrattan fights Luke Gazdic
Brian McGrattan fights Luke Gazdic. Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Brian McGrattan’s Top Five

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."

#1 Patrick Bordeleau

McGrattan's fought Bordeleau twice now. Bordy has a couple of inches on Big Ern, but they're comparable in size. They both went into each fight the same way: stand back and throw. The bout from 2012-13 was rated the #1 fight of the season.

#2 Luke Gazdic

The Edmonton Oilers rookie has made quite an impression on people this season. He's taken on any tough guy he could, including Big Ern. Gazdic must wear a visor thanks to the NHL's new rules this season. He also can't take it off to fight, thanks to another new NHL rule. Does that give him an advantage? "I might be the only one who doesn't care about the visors," said McGrattan.

#3 Colton Orr

Orr and McGrattan have fought five times, with the most recent bout coming in late 2009. They were five great fights, mind you, and it's easy to see why they left an impression. Orr's had a powerful reptuation since coming into the league and can still throw them.

#4 Matt Carkner

Carkner is the only player on this list McGrattan hasn't fought even though he's been playing against him since juniors, something he found "weird." McGrattan added, "[the] big guy throws both [hands] hard." He did have a powerful end to the season.

#5 Jay Rosehill

Rosehill's climbed the heavyweight ranks, and fits in well in a city like Philadelphia. He was the only other player besides McGrattan to have a handle on Gazdic this season. Rosehill and McGrattan fought once, and there should be no surprise here: it was a wide-open slug-fest.

* purposely put myself somewhere in-between the two.

This piece was put together over Twitter direct messages because 2014. Quotes lightly edited.

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