Which Calgary Flames dropped the gloves the most in 2022-23?
Photo credit:Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
By Ryan Pike3 months ago
Engaging in fisticuffs used to be a big part of the National Hockey League style of play. But in recent years – in part due to an emphasis on skill and in part due to an increasing awareness of brain injuries – fighting has become less and less important in hockey. It’s still part of the game, though, and the Calgary Flames engaged in 19 bouts over the 2022-23 season, tied with San Jose for 17th-most in the NHL.
Here’s a snapshot of which Flames fought and how often in 2022-23 via our colleagues at HockeyFights.
The Flames’ leaders
Dennis Gilbert spent 23 games with the Flames this past season; he fought five times, accounting for 26% of the club’s bouts and fighting (on average) once every four and a half games. (He fought three times in November and then spread things out a bit more, though.)
Two other Flames fought multiple times: Milan Lucic (three times) and Nikita Zadorov (twice). Lucic didn’t fight for the first time until a bout with Ian Cole in late January.
Another nine Flames fought once apiece, and it’s primarily a list of guys you probably don’t associate with pugilism: Kevin Rooney, Connor Mackey, Brett Ritchie, Noah Hanifin, Michael Stone, Dillon Dube, MacKenzie Weegar, Chris Tanev and Troy Stecher.
One game featured multiple bouts: the Flames’ Feb. 6 visit to Madison Square Garden, which featured three fights.
The Wranglers’ leaders
The Flames fought an average amount relative to the rest of the NHL. The Wranglers fought 32 times, tied for third in the AHL (and had about eight more fights than the median AHL team).
Most of the Wranglers’ bouts were conducted by three guys: Alex Gallant (seven), Adam Klapka (six) and Mitch McLain (five). Gallant and McLain were on AHL contracts, while Klapka is gigantic and was used primarily as physical depth until he found his scoring touch late in the season. In short: they’re probably the guys you want fighting, if you want anybody fighting at all.
Four more guys fought multiple times: Dennis Gilbert, Jeremie Poirier, Kevin Rooney and Martin Pospisil. Of note: yes, Gilbert and Rooney registered fights on both the NHL and AHL sides of the ledger. Also of note: Pospisil’s fight was his last appearance of the AHL campaign.
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Fighting once apiece for the Wranglers: Connor Zary, Ben Jones, Clark Bishop, Cole Schwindt, Radim Zohorna and Brett Sutter.
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