NHL Power Rankings: Ranking Each Team Based on Overall Toughness

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NHL Power Rankings: Ranking Each Team Based on Overall Toughness
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Toughness can be a subjective term when it comes to a sport like hockey. Professional hockey players exhibit unnatural toughness by default. After all they are hockey players. The combination of physical and mental toughness takes center stage in the Stanley Cup Playoffs when wars of attrition are waged in an endless overtime.

The physical steps a player must take to go from prospect to simply making the NHL roster are unparalleled in professional sports. Baseball is the only other sport with a true minor league.  However, I think it's fair to say that the young men toiling in the junior and minor leagues of hockey are put through a more taxing grind than their contemporaries on the baseball diamond.

So let's take the subjective term of toughness to a different level. It's understood that hockey players are tough, but while the term "tough" in hockey elicits a certain image, you don't have to bleed regularly or lose one tooth per game to be considered tough.

This power ranking will be based on a team's current roster. The images for each team are mostly of fights, but a player's willingness to drop the gloves doesn't immediately send him to the top of the toughness hierarchy. While it doesn't hurt the ranking to have guys who are willing and able to punch you in the neck, a team's style is also critical to the perception of toughness.

So take out your front two Chiclets, and lose that visor Nancy-boy, we're going to see which NHL team is the toughest.

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