The Philadelphia Flyers had to learn some hard lessons in their early years.
When the NHL expanded from six to 12 teams in the 1967-68 season, the Flyers had early success in the regular season. They were the first regular season champions of the Western Division.
That should have given them a great chance to get to the Stanley Cup Finals since the Western champions would meet the Eastern Division champions for the chance to lift the Stanley Cup.
However, the Flyers got taken out in the first round by St. Louis Blues. The Flyers and Blues switched positions the following year in the regular season, but the Blues still won the playoff meeting.
It wasn't just a matter of getting beaten in those series. The Flyers were hammered physically.
Owner Ed Snider could not abide seeing his team get manhandled, and he pledged to build a team that could handle itself physically from that point forward.
The Flyers have more than lived up to Snider's pledge. They have been one of the most physically dominant teams in the history of the NHL.
Here's a look at the 10 toughest players in Flyers history.
(We are not just talking about fighting. The ability to take a hard shot, get up and make a play may mean just as much as using one's fists when it comes to a player's toughness.)