D.J. King of the St. Louis Blues has suited up for 90 career NHL games, posting 157 penalty minutes. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
We’re hovering around the quarter-mark of the NHL season and Ottawa’s Chris Neil and Tampa’s Zenon Konopka are leading the NHL with 76 penalty minutes. Vancouver’s Kevin Bieksa sits tied for fourth with 61 PIMs, but averaged 22:08 minutes played in his first 23 games. Bieksa plays a rough-and-tumble game, but plays it so much he averages just .12 PIMs per minute played – 61/[8*23/60+(22*23)] – an acceptable number for such a player.
But just which players average the most PIMs per minutes played? Not surprisingly, they’re ‘goons.’ But some of the numbers are eye opening.
10. Zenon Konopka, Tampa Bay, .45 PIMs per minute
With 188 PIMs in 60 career games, the 6-foot-1, 211-pound center (a rare position for such a player) is cementing himself as a real tough customer. He has eight fighting majors this season.
9. Colton Orr, Toronto, .46
The 27-year-old right winger is doing exactly what he was signed to do last summer: beat people up. He has seven fights, one assist and 15 shots in 22 games.
8. Cam Janssen, St. Louis, .49
The Blues behemoth has averaged 5:20 of ice time in 17 games and racked-up 45 PIMs via five fights, a misconduct and five minors.
7. Tim Conboy, Carolina, .49
Conboy takes the No. 7 spot over Janssen by virtue of averaging fewer minutes played per game (4:08 vs. 5:20). He has just 22 PIMs this season, but they come in just 11 games. He has four fights and a minor.
6. Brad Staubitz, San Jose, .50
In 15 games played, Staubitz has five majors, a misconduct and six minors. His 47 PIMs are good for 18th in the league.
5. Jody Shelley, San Jose, .51
The Sharks’ other pugilist has played more games, but averages fewer minutes and has more PIMs. Shelly has six majors, six minors and a misconduct.
4. Paul Bissonnette, Phoenix, .55
The burly left winger is tied with Ottawa’s Matt Carkner for the league lead with nine fighting majors. Toss in three minors and an average of 5:45 in ice time during 16 games and you’ve got the fourth most penalized player per minute in the league.
3. Jared Boll, Columbus, .60
The Jackets’ resident tough guy has averaged 2.75 PIMs per game during his three-season NHL career. This season he has 56 PIMs on eight fights, a misconduct and three minors.
2. Dane Byers, Rangers, 1.00
The Blueshirts left winger begins our ascent into stratospheric PIMs-per-minute numbers. Byers has played just more than 31 minutes total this season, but has 31 PIMs. Unfortunately, they don’t come on five fights and three minors, but three minors, one fight, a misconduct and a game misconduct.
1. D.J. King, St. Louis, 75.00
That’s right, folks, 75.00. King has played a grand total of four seconds for the Blues this season and got into a fight. Let’s put that into perspective. Dan Boyle has played the most minutes in the league this season, with a little more than 660. If King averaged that kind of ice time, he’d be on pace to sit in the box for about 160,000 minutes this season; slightly more than Dave Schultz’s NHL record of 472 PIMs in 1974-75. The feat would be even more remarkable considering a team can only play a maximum of 5,330 minutes in a season.
The THN.com Top 10 appears Wednesdays only on TheHockeyNews.com.
If you enjoy this feature, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine for the exclusive countdown, Starting From 5, and other great features from the world of hockey.