NHL's Top 20 Biggest Hitters We'd Love to See Check Gary Bettman
I would bet your next paycheck on the fact that Gary Bettman doesn't know how to skate. So, I'm imagining a scenario where Bettman has to get out on the ice for a charity event. You know, he has to reconnect with the "little people" after taking repeated dumps on their game. Sprinkled into the charity pick up game are some NHL players, old and new. Of course, there's your token celebrities that have laced up some skates before and want to remind us all that they used to be on television.
Now the game is just for fun, which means no big slapshots from the pros and no checking of course. So, picture an image where the pigeon-toed commissioner on his dual-trac skates ends up with the puck skating awkwardly out of his own zone. His head is down, because he isn't used to the feel of a puck on his stick while he skates.
He hears the roar of the crowd, obviously cheering the commissioner, and hears his teammates calling for the puck. There is also a rapid clicking getting louder, moving closer to him as he maneuvers up the ice. The cheering reaches a deafening pitch as Bettman smiles. This skating thing isn't so tough, he thinks to himself. The puck lurches off of his stick for a second, and Bettman pushes harder off of his left skate to catch up to it. "What is that clicking?" he wonders as he lifts his head for a second to get his bearings.
"HEADS UP!" yells a teammate."
That sounded like Snoop Dogg, or is it Snoop Lion now?" Bettman thinks.
BOOM!! A heavy shoulder to the jaw at full stride from the other team catches Bettman flush, lifting him off the ice and sending him into the boards shoulders first. The crowd roars its' delight at the scene as Dave Coulier and Justin Beiber glide over to assist their fallen teammate.
As they approach, they find Bettman dazed and stunned. His helmet and cage have been spun sideways on his head, his left arm seems to be hanging limp from its shoulder and there is a strong odor suggesting that the most powerful man in the NHL may have just soiled himself.
Now, lets be honest, it wouldn't take a mountain of a man, or woman for that matter to lay out Gary Bettman on skates. Chances are, anyone that knows how to skate could flatten the most unpopular man in hockey. It sure would be fun to imagine if one of the better hitters in the NHL had a shot at the commissioner.
Here's the top 20 guys who would be perfect for the job. Keep your head up, Gary, and, of course, enjoy now!
Not saying that I'd like to see Chara knock Bettman into the stanchion too, but it would be nice. The size disparity might be a little over the top, but nothing is too good for our favorite "commish."
One of the most feared hitters in all of hockey would probably love to take a run at the NHL's dark overlord. He could just pretend that Bettman was Sean Avery.
Just a few months removed from being handed Lord Stanley from the hockey boss, Dustin Brown might have a hint of remorse after trucking King Gary.
If Eric Staal can put his own brother on the shelf with hits like this, can you imagine what he would do to someone he doesn't like?
With one of the best names in all of the NHL, Cal Clutterbuck loves to throw his weight around. No chance he would pass up a hit on the guy who holds the key to the NHL season.
Ryan Callahan loves to hit everyone and everything on the ice. You can be sure that he will be lining up a slow-skating commissioner in the neutral zone.
This list would be incomplete without the reigning hit king of the NHL. Matt Martin would love to negotiate with Gary Bettman, probably by leading with his shoulder.
As an NHL alumnus, Darcy Tucker would surely love to attend a charity hockey game if it meant he had a chance to do this to Bettman.
Another classic from the Youtube archives reminds us that Brian Campbell can bring the pain in the open ice. He's a few years removed from dropping the hammer like this, but chances are he would get the better of the commissioner, should they meet on the ice.
Brad Stuart's physical presence will be missed in Detroit as he signed with San Jose this summer. Stuart has the hip check down to a work of art and can rattle the fillings of a seasoned NHL veteran. With three lockouts under his belt, Gary Bettman can consider himself a veteran of some sorts too.
If Gary Bettman wandered away from the boards far enough, propping himself up with a firm, two-handed grip on his stick, Willie Mitchell might turn his melon to mush with a hit like this.
Though his best hits might be something of the past, Mattias Ohlund probably has enough "oomph" to lay waste to the commissioner if the opportunity came about.
With his style of play, Alexander Ovechkin plays like a Russian wrecking ball. This compilation of his physical play gives a glimpse of what the mercurial wing might do if Gary Bettman crossed his path on the ice.
Not that this hit is particularly violent, but the sheer distance that Brooks Orpik cracks Daniel Paille is impressive. Imagine how much further Orpik could have driven a substantially less athletic, egotistical hockey pariah!
The always outspoken P.K. Subban is underrated in the hit department, but don't tell Brad Marchand. Marshy is only 5'9" which puts him at or near Bettman's listed 5'10" height. Subban more than handles Marchand at full speed. Can you imagine how much harder the commissioner would get planted at a fraction of Marchand's pace.
Speaking of little fellas that can pack a punch, new Red Wing Jordin Tootoo is always looking to run into somebody regardless of their size. We'd love to see him take a run at Bettman on ice.
Mike Richards plays with a style that has him getting in the face of every opponent. A player who plays hard on both ends of the ice, you can bet he would find Bettman at some point and give him a good shot like he did against his former team.
The Colorado Calder kid was among the league leaders in hits in only his first year in the NHL. Landeskog took a few hits, but dealt out just as many. He would surely take a run at a lawyer from Cornell on wobbly skates.
This big Russian defenseman conjures up memories of Vlad Konstantinov and Darius Kasparaitis with his hit first attitude. Chances are Emelin will have Bettman in his sights if they happen to share the ice.
One of the NHL's hit kings, Detroit's Niklas Kronwall has an adverb named for his on-ice notoriety. Let's be honest here, we would all love to see commissioner Bettman get "Kronwalled."
Now, for those of you who take life a little too seriously, let's address the obvious. Gary Bettman is a little 60-year-old un-athletic man who would never end up in a scenario like the one I described in the first frame. The article was intended with humorous not malicious intent. Thanks for reading!