from Alex Capstick of BBC World Service, Jim was a skilful skater, with a fierce accurate shot. He moved east to Ontario where he continued to move up the ranks. But aged 14, people started to notice him for a different skill. Jim was good with his fists.
“I got a big 20-year-old, I’ll never forget it - a big guy with a beard. He cross checks me in front of the net, and I go down on to the ice.
“I get up and he’s standing in front of me like he wants to fight. So he pushed me and (the) next thing I know he was lying on his back. I caught him with a lucky punch and he was out.”
Jim quickly earned a reputation as a good fighter. In North American ice hockey, teams are always on the look out for a bruiser, someone who is willing to skate onto the ice and punch an opponent. Jim Thomson became what is known as an enforcer, and it was his ticket to the NHL.
“Washington Capitals say if you are going to make our hockey team you’re going to have to fight. I had 41 fights in 57 games, I h...