Georges Laraque wasn’t your typical fighting icon. He was a goon, for sure, but at the same time, has few players in NHL history been so universally well-liked by everyone and kind to people off the ice. Here’s one example: the most liked comment on a legendary YouTube clip about him:
”I met Laraque several times when he was in Edmonton. He is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. Very polite and friendly. Once he even bought my friends and me 30 shots at the bar just because I complimented him. He also did a ton of charity and volunteer work in the community. The guy is pure class.”
And that’s the way he’s always been, Georges Laraque. On the ice, he was a beast. He could take down anyone at any time, but he was always a good sport about it. He wasn’t the most skillful player, and he didn’t score all that many goals, but he was a perfect enforcer and an even greater teammate.
Laraque played nearly 700 games in the NHL and is a cult hero in every team he played for.
Laraque had some great fights during his days, and he was almost impossible to beat. But still, he was a class act about it. Laraque is a legend for what he did on the ice, but he’s also somewhat of a YouTube icon, as many of his fights have hundreds of thousands of views.
One of the most classical clips came during a game between the Phoenix Coyotes, where Laraque played at the time, and the LA Kings.
Laraque had a great heavyweight tilt with Raitis Ivanans, with both players weighing over 243lbs. But during this fight, Laraque happened to be mic’d up, and it was absolutely beautiful to hear his conversation with Ivanans before squaring up. As it turns out, Laraque is a polite guy when it comes to fighting, too, and this was what he and Ivanans said to each other before dropping the mitts as they lined up next to each other on a face-off.
”Wanna do it?” Laraque asked.
The answer clearly is yes.
”Okay. Square up?” Laraque continues. ”Okay. Good luck, man.”
And then they proceeded to have a great fight. This is what hockey is all about! They don’t make them like Georges Laraque anymore!