Hockey has been a dynamic, changing game throughout the course of its history, but the one constant has been the toughness of its players, in some form or another.
From goaltenders of the early eras who believed masks were not an option due to the way they restricted vision, despite pucks flying through the air at high speeds, to the biggest, baddest enforcers of the 1990s, hockey has never been without its share of tough guys.
Over the years, we've seen players overcome dramatic personal obstacles, stand up for superstars and rack up more than 3000 penalty minutes over the course of a career.
In some way or another, these personal milestones have only made NHL players even tougher.
Of course, hockey has seen many aggressive players who consistently or dramatically crossed the line, and as a result of their dirty play, they were not considered for this list. This includes players like Marty McSorley, Chris Simon and Todd Bertuzzi.
But when it comes to embodying the spirit of the sport in a clean, aggressive manner, these 50 are in a league of their own.