The reason Tony Twist refuses to name his toughest fighting opponent says everything you need to know about old-school hockey

He’s one of the most feared men to ever play in the NHL.

Tony Twist was in 104 fights over his 10-year NHL career, but if you include juniors, minors, bars, and streets, it’s closer to 500.

Tony Twist is a legend of the game, and he left no prisoners when he stepped onto the ice.

Twist was an enforcer, if there’s ever been one, and he’s a St. Louis Blues cult hero. Together with Kelly Chase, he formed the St. Louis Bruise Brothers, and the Blues quickly earned a reputation of being one of the toughest teams to play against, with their physical strength.

Throughout his career, Tony Twist fought some of the toughest guys the NHL has ever seen.

He fought Bob Probert several times, he even fought his close friend Kelly Chase when they played on the opposite teams. But who was the toughest he fought?

13 Jan 1999: Tony Twist #18 of the St. Louis Blues stretches out on the ice before the game against the Buffalo Sabres at the Marine Midland Arena in Buffalo, New York. The Blues defeated the Sabres 4-2. Source: Getty Images

That’s a question Twist never revealed, and there’s a reason behind it.

”People say, ’Who was the toughest guy?’ I promise you there is no toughest guy. If you start putting people on a pedestal, mentally preparing for a fight in a different way, you’re going to lose,” Twist wrote in a piece on The Athletic.

”Because you’re no longer being robotic and nonemotional. You can’t be emotional about anything when you’re fighting.”

Source: Getty Images

For Twist, fighting was a job and nothing else. And that was his key to success.

”If you train yourself the same way — it’s a job and everybody is the same — you’re going to have more success. There’s some guys who do it for the crowd, and they’re not around very long. Watch the guys that are doing it for their 20 teammates without prejudice. That’s who you should be scared of.”

This is what old-school hockey is all about. Respect!

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