The 20 Dirtiest Hitters in the NHL
Whether an NHL matchup is a rivalry or a random contest between two teams, enormous collisions make the game what it is, and they surely bring fans to their feet. Every team has a wrecking ball on skates—a "goon," if you will.
I would include everyone's favorite fashion model Sean Avery, but he's busy down in the AHL, as his NHL affiliate doesn't need his drama and lack of production all the way up there at the top of the Eastern Conference.
Here are the 20 dirtiest hitters in the league. In case I missed one or you find a good video, send them to me on Twitter @kevry88.
Milan Lucic, Boston Bruins
Lucic is owner of the dirtiest hit of the year, and surprisingly, he wasn't even suspended. However, Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller got the best of Lucic by lashing out to the press on Lucic's choice style of play:
"I'm not really going to get into that," Miller said in TD Garden. "I just stuck around because I wanted to say what a piece of [expletive] I think Lucic is. Fifty pounds on me, and he runs me like that? It's unbelievable. Everyone in this city see him as a big, tough, solid player. I respected him for how hard he plays. That was gutless. Gutless. Piece of [expletive]."
For the record, Burrows' look in this photo: priceless.
Ryane Clowe, San Jose Sharks
Clowe attests his rugged style of play to make up for all of the cheap shots teams take on Sharks youngster Logan Couture. But whatever the reason, Clowe brings the hammer every night, both offensively and defensively.
Matt Greene, Los Angeles Kings
Daniel Carcillo, Chicago Blackhawks
Jordan Tootoo, Nashville Predators
Steve Ott, Dallas Stars
Chris Pronger, Philadelphia Flyers
It's no secret that Chris Pronger is headed to the Hall of Fame once he calls his career quits. Pronger has been in the league so long that he played his first NHL season with the Hartford Whalers before moving on to the St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers, Anaheim Ducks and eventually, the Broad Street Bullies.
Pronger has an impressive trophy case, including a Hart Trophy as the league's MVP (2000), a Norris Trophy as the league's top defenseman (2000), two Olympic gold medals (2002, 2010) and a Stanley Cup (2007).
However, unless Pronger was suited up in your team's gear, you probably hated him...
Steve Downie, Colorado Avalanche
Matt Cooke, Pittsburgh Penguins
It seems like we've gotten to the point where Matt Cooke is about one dirty cheap shot away from being suspended for life. But when you play the game so dirty, it enrages the rest of the league—to the point where you get "absolutely KO'd."
He even pissed off the Reverend, Don Cherry.
Brothers Ruutu: Jarkko and Tuomo
I think it's hilarious that two of the dirtiest players in the league are brothers. Since I'm sure they share bunk beds and toy cars, they deserve to have their dirty cheap-shot hits highlighted on the same front.
Maxim Lapierre, Vancouver Canucks
Whether he's playing in Montreal, Anaheim or Vancouver, Maxi-Pad's ridiculous style of play is easily recognized as one of the dirtiest in the league. The best part is when the opponent's tough guy comes and politely asks for a brawl, Lapierre somehow can't find the energy.
Trevor Gilles, New York Islanders
Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins
Patrick Kaleta, Buffalo Sabres
Chris Neil, Ottawa Senators
Ryan Hollweg, Phoenix Coyotes
Extremely proud of his mustache (Twitter handle @TheStache15), Yotes winger Ryan Hollweg loves to scrap with the league's biggest tough guys. However, it's widely known his hits are as clean as his dance moves are good.
Hollweg is known for receiving cheap shots, too.
Brooks Orpik, Pittsburgh Penguins
Niklas Kronwall, Detroit Red Wings
There's a reason The Joe frequently uses the phrase "Kronwalled."
Niklas plays the game harder than anyone in the league—an easy way to get the rivals to dish out the "dirty" tag.
At least dudes in the Dirty D analyze their hometown heroes.
Wingers leaving their defensive zone clearly have not learned to check where Kronwall is before they start skating with the puck.
PK Subban, Montreal Canadiens
PK "Slew Foot" Subban is easily one of the dirtiest players in the league, which is quite unfortunate, as he's shaping up to be a great defenseman.
Though he's one of the dirtiest in the league, he definitely receives his fair share of pain.
What can I say, the dude plays the game hard.
Todd Bertuzzi, Detroit Red Wings
It's clear that the NHL executives believe that Bertuzzi's shootout magic deserves to keep him in the league.
There is no other reason that he should be banned after the dirtiest play in the history of the league—perhaps in sports history.